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Posts with tag brutallus

Sunwell Soloing and I: How to skip Madrigosa's ice wall

Sunwell soloing and I  How to skip Madrigosa's ice wall
If you're a transmog junkie like I am, you may find yourself doing old content a lot. I've been running Sunwell lately for various pieces of the DPS plate set that dropped here, and one of the things I got really tired of was the big ice wall that Madrigosa puts up just before the Brutallus encounter. First off, it's not impossible to see through it, but it does kind of obscure the action. Secondly, I'm just cantankerous and contrary and I don't like it when some dragon from three expansions ago tells me where I can and can't go. Today, however, I discovered that I don't have to let her make that decision for me -- it's possible in fact to completely avoid the ice wall and drop down into the Brutallus area before she casts it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect


Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Shifting Perspectives: State of the class, part 1 - Balance


Every Tuesday, or possibly Thursday when the writer votes on Tuesday and spends Wednesday screaming and beating her laptop over formatting errors, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert steals John Patricelli's column once again, secure in the knowledge that she will never be forced to atone for her crime as long as she writes something nice about ferals and keeps a respectful distance from Dan O'Halloran's whip.

I hate Tauren cat form.

Good. I got that out of my system and can write something productive. Although, believe me, if I could get away with it, an entire Shifting Perspectives would be devoted to just how much I hate Tauren cat form. I mean, just look at it! Look at the angle on the horns! The cat can't bite anything! Christ, I just -- hi, Dan. Yes, I'm totally writing the column! Look at me go!

This week, mindful as always of American election-year politicking, I'm going to borrow a page from presidential duties and write a little something I like to call "State of the Class." Druids have undergone a number of changes in the transition to Wrath of the Lich King, and will acquire even more as they level to 80. We are one of Blizzard's primary targets for both gear and role consolidation, which raises a few questions over how comfortably we're going to scale in relation to pure classes and what we can realistically expect on the march to a new level cap.

The TL:DR version of this article -- I believe our future is generally bright, the Druid community continues to have a few concerns over certain aspects of the class, our focus in PvP seems to be changing the most, and I hate Tauren cat form. This is a three-part post, so let's get started with balance. However, if you want to jump ahead to feral, you'll find that here; and the third part, restoration, is here.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Buffs, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

Guildwatch: Still dropping bosses


That's Cooldown of Darkspear, above, basking in the glory of a boss kill. While it seemed like raiding came to a standstill before BC, that's not really the case before Wrath -- while it's certainly slower, there's lots of people out there still killing bad guys.

And Guildwatch reports on as many of them as we hear about -- if you'd like to see your guild here (or have a good time on some wacky forum drama, either on the offficial forums or somewhere else), drop us a line at wowguildwatch@gmail.com. And click the link below to see this week's drama, downed, and recruiting news from all the guilds around the realms.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

Bornakk confirms raid nerf

Blue poster Bornakk has clarified what many people were noticing yesterday: all Burning Crusade raiding mobs have had their health reduced (approximately 30 percent according to data collected). He also goes on to say that the mobs will be doing less physical damage, although the spell damage will remain the same.

As far my close and personal friend Illidan goes, he will no longer be casting Shear. While I understand the need for this, as a Warrior can no longer spam Shield Block come patch 3.0.2, I will miss this particular mechanic in that it truly provided a test of skill above the standard tank and spank mechanic.

The HP nerf to all of the raid bosses isn't sitting too well with me either. It makes me sigh in frustration at the weeks my guild spent getting the last 25% of Brut down to a science. Had this nerf been in place three months ago, we would have killed him on the second night of attempts.

But that is the life of these games, onward and upward towards Wrath of the Lich King!

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow melee, part 1


Dear reanimated angst-puppy hero corpses,

Love what you've done with the smell, really. The little air freshener attached to the runeblade is a nice touch. Now that I'm in the beta, I've had the opportunity group with -- conservatively -- billions of you. I've healed a lot of Death Knight tanks, and tanked for a lot of Death Knight DPS. Most of you seem like cool people, so I say this with sincere love in my little Druid heart and a touch of worry over what will happen in November:

Most of you are awful.

I don't wish to be needlessly cruel here, mind you, or to overlook that the class is still new. Blizzard endlessly tinkers with you, so it's not like your rotations haven't changed, or your talents and skills are stable. And I know you're not coming to Northrend with a bank full of awesome gear from Burning Crusade. This isn't about your wearing greens or using the wrong attack or tanking rotation; I'm not even going to bother with the theorycraft surrounding the ideal DPS rotation until Wrath actually ships. But I'm seeing an awful lot of you running around playing as if...almost as if...you haven't played a tank or a melee class before. It's uncanny. But when I switched from playing a balance to a feral druid more than a year ago and knew nothing about playing a melee DPS/tank, I made all the mistakes you're making right now. Help me help you!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

PvE winners and losers in patch 3.0

I'm putting together a class-by-class prediction post on how the changes we'll see in patch 3.0 and beyond will wind up affecting PvE gameplay in Wrath, but it's probably a bit premature to make specific guesses while talents and skills are still being overhauled in the beta. Still, I think a few general trends (at least for 3.0) are pretty clear.

I'm calling it now; Paladins will fare best, but Shamans will be the hardest hit by the upcoming changes, especially with respect to raiding. I think this change is driven in no small part by Blizzard's realization that Sunwell-level raid guilds are hugely dependent on the party-specific buffs like totems and Heroism/Bloodlust that Shamans bring. The problem is that Shamans are still the least-played class, which has left raiding guilds desperate for a high-end population of Shamans that simply does not exist (especially Alliance-side). Making Shaman totems and Heroism/Bloodlust buff the entire raid (but heavily nerfing how often the raid can benefit from the latter) means the days of stacking Shamans (or trying to) are effectively over.

Paladin changes, especially for holy and retribution, are equally driven by Blizzard's experience with Sunwell. With absolutely breathtaking amounts of raid damage occurring, encounters were disproportionately weighted in favor of: a). healers with more raid-healing capacity, like resto Shamans and CoH Priests (something we heard from SK Gaming months ago) and b). DPS who brought raid-wide DPS buffs to kill the boss as fast as possible (e.g. Retribution Paladins on Brutallus and M'uru). Given the new skills I'm seeing on other healing specs, I'll make another prediction; prepare to see that same level of raid damage rear its ugly head in Naxxramas again.

I'll be launching a more extensive prediction post once talents and skills are finalized for Wrath, and then I'd like to do a follow-up post at some point after guilds start conquering level 80 raid content to see whether they were any good.

Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, Classes

Breakfast Topic: Your last breath

A pretty fun forum thread caught the attention of Bornakk and many, many regular posters as well. The player Course of Medivh-US asks a question: If your character said one last thing upon dying, what would it be? A majority of the responses were comedy answers, and only a handful leaned over to the serious side. The jokes were pretty hit or miss, but I got a few laughs out of it. Among my favorites...
  • "Haha, you fool! You fell for one of the classic blunders, the first of which is, "never get involved in a land war in Kalimdor." Only slightly less well-known is this; never go in against a Gnome when death is on the line! Hahahaha... *dies*"
  • "Pat? What pat?"
  • "wwwwwwwwssssssssssddddddddaaawdssssd"
  • "Et tu, Brutallus?"
  • "With my dying breath, I curse Kalgan!"
Being an RP nerd, my characters would probably say something more serious. My Priest would lament her failures or regret she couldn't have done more before the end. My Paladin probably wouldn't say anything. She would just harden a defiant glare and pass on. If we were leaning to the silly side, my Shadow Priest would probably say something like, "Whoops, shouldn't have hit Shadow Word: Death there." Actually, I probably say that a lot already... but let's not talk about that. Let's extend this to you guys: What would your character say with their final breath? Heck, how do you envision your character taking the final spill? Old and grey on their deathbed, going peacefully? Being cut down in glorious battle? Blowing themselves up while skilling up Engineering?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Forums

SK Gaming raiding Sunwell live tomorrow


Haven't been to Sunwell yet? Sure, you say it's that you don't have time to raid, or that maybe you just can't find a guild that vibes with you, or that raiding is pointless until the expansion releases. But we know the truth: deep down inside, you really do want to go, but you're just not good enough. Worry not, you noob: the good folks at SK Gaming (whom we've interviewed in the past) are here to let you experience the instance anyway. You may not have the healing prowess needed to stand up with the big boys, but they do and they're streaming the whole thing live over the internet, complete with commentary and two points of view.

The show starts at 2pm EDT tomorrow afternoon, and to see it, you've got to pick up Joost, which is a free download, for Windows or OS X. They're set to talk mostly, they say, about Warriors, Mages, and Paladins, as well as UI setups, and they're also planning to attempt a world record for DPS on Brutallus.

Should be fun to see, and if nothing else, you can pretend to be a raider. Take that, Brutallus! Have another Frostbolt!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Raiding

Tank Talk: The better (and lesser) angels of our nature


Tank Talk continues this week with one requisite "Why does my ingame life have to suck so hard?" story in deference to a point made by commenters on our first column. We will then take a look at the most fundamental decision you will encounter as a raiding tank -- and one you are likely to make, and then re-make, on just about every boss encounter in the game.

There is a Druid on my server who messages me almost daily asking me to come tank his heroics. What annoys me is not being asked to tank per se, but that he, too, is a feral Druid. His gear isn't as good as mine simply because he hasn't raided past Magtheridon, but he's sitting on at least three of the better pieces of Tier 4, crafted epics, and several of the badge pieces that I'm still using to tank Tier 6. At a matter of fact, with the advent of two different badge vendors and badge drops from 10-man and 25-man bosses, his stats are significantly better than the ones I had tanking most of Tier 5. This guy literally has the gear to do just about anything in the game short of the more advanced content in Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau, and I used to point to him with no small measure of Druidic pride as proof of what a little elbow grease could accomplish.

But he still wants me to come tank for him.

I started getting irritated with the constant begging at one point and asked him, "How can you possibly have any difficulty getting groups? Everybody in LFG is looking for a tank, and your gear is excellent."

At his computer, I'm sure he was shrugging. "You do it faster than I do."

"I really don't. Just get some good DPS and you'll be fine."

And then the truth came out: "Well, I don't really like tanking. I'd rather DPS."

Ah.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Raiding, Factions, Classes, Death Knight, Tank Talk

Hybrid Theory: Shadow Priests and the Wrath Alpha


Welcome to Hybrid Theory, where we discuss all things hybrid in the World of Warcraft. Hybrid Theory is brought to you each week by columnist/blogger Alex Ziebart.

I really thought my excitement over Wrath of the Lich King would fade after the initial onslaught of alpha information and just come back around launch time, but that hasn't really been the case. It's been a pretty consistent type of excitement, and I pretty much devour every piece of information I can find.

We've talked about Druids already, but while I love Hybrids in general, my Shadow Priest is my main and my first love. Yes yes, I'm sure some of you still disagree with Priests being Hybrids, but I'm of the opinion that they are so I shall continue. If you want to disagree, do so in the Comments section below.

I adore playing my Shadow Priest, but I think all Shadow Priest players agree with me when I say there are some definite issues with the class on some level or another. Why don't we take a seat and see what might be on the devs' minds, eh?

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Filed under: Priest, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Talents, Buffs, Hybrid Theory, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Things left undone


I've been farming a lot of ghost mushrooms and gromsblood lately in order to make Demonslaying Elixirs. My guild's farming trash in Sunwell Plateau at the moment and has taken a few half-hearted swings at Kalecgos, all of which ended in much hollering and arguing and waving of hands in the air. But despite the fact that Big Blue is likely to ride our collective ass for weeks, I like to think of myself as a long-term planner with a gimlet eye on Brutallus. So, a-farming I go.

The materials for the elixir are fairly irritating to farm in quantity, and I find myself in a lot of areas I never even leveled extensively in when I was raising my Druid main. Desolace? Paid it a visit to get some fishing done. Blasted Lands? Uh...passed through it on my way to Outland. Maraudon? Did I do that? I want to say I did, but was brought up short at learning of the existence of a scepter that allows you to bypass two-thirds of the instance. I know for sure I've never set foot in Dire Maul North, much less a Tribute Run, I'd never seen the live side of Stratholme, and I hadn't so much as clapped eyes on the Emperor in Blackrock Depths.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Lore, Bosses, Leveling

Ready Check: Brutallus



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau,
everyone can get in on the action and spend thousands of gold on repairs and consumables. This week, a pit lord dies.

Brutallus is the second boss in the Sunwell Plateau. A pit lord with swords for hands, he becomes accessible once you've redeemed Kalecgos and killed the two trash packs behind Kalecgos' platform. After watching a short event where Brutallus fights and kills Madrigosa, a blue dragon who you can see taunting him when doing the Dead Scar bombing quest, it's time to face the demon himself.

Many people have compared the Brutallus encounter to that of Patchwerk back in Naxxramas; rather than an execution encounter, this is a benchmark fight, and if your raid is low on DPS, your tanks fall short of gear requirements or your healers can't keep up, you'll run into difficulties. The main requirement is extremely high raid dps; with a 6 minute enrage and 10.5 million hitpoints, you're looking at just over 29k raid dps sustained over the entire fight. How much that works out to per DPSer depends on your raid composition, so let's look at what you need to bring for the fight.

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Filed under: How-tos, Walkthroughs, Instances, Bosses, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding)

First Sunwell Plateau gate is now open on US Servers

If your uber guild has freed Kalecgos, beaten Brutallus, and felled Felmyst, and you've been a little bored, here's some good news for you: Agamath, The first Sunwell Plateau gate is now opened. This means that the Eredar Twins, Grand Warlock Alythess and Lady Sacrolash, are now fair game. Good luck to all the guilds aiming for a world first!

This puts the first gate opening time at just about 2 weeks (the patch went live on March 25th, as you recall). If the next two gates come down just as fast, we may see a world first Kil'jaedan kill somewhere around early May. Then again, I imagine Blizzard wants to drag stuff out just a tiny bit so that they don't need to put out a patch 2.5 with new content between now and the release of Wrath of the Lich King.

[Via MMO-Champion]

Filed under: Realm News, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Hybrid Theory: Brutallus and You


Every week, Alex Ziebart comes to you with Hybrid Theory. A column with... theories about hybrids, I guess. I mean, that's what it says at least. I guess it could be something else, but probably not. Honestly, you should probably just read it and find out for yourself.

In the past here on Hybrid Theory, we've discussed what Hybrids are capable of doing in a raid, as far as beneficial talents and utilities. We talked about the fact that a few well-placed hybrids in your raid can take your DPS from 'good' to 'horrifyingly good.' All of this comes to the front again in a boss that many high-end raid groups are clashing against right now: Brutallus.

If you haven't read anything on this boss yet, it's the single largest gear check in WoW yet. It's Burning Crusade's Patchwerk, mostly. To beat Brutallus, you need roughly 29,000 sustained DPS across your entire raid. If you don't pull that off, you hit his enrage timer and he destroys all of you. Simple as that! If you're lucky you can burn off a final two or three percent of his health after the enrage, but that's about as far as you go. That three percent is about 300,000 health, so don't get too confident.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Hybrid Theory

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