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Posts with tag firelands-raid

State of DPS in Firelands

Patch 4.2 is winding to a close, patch 4.3 is on the PTR, and we've recently seen Ghostcrawler (lead systems developer) making some public comments about DPS balance in the Developer Watercooler -- in particular, discussing the increase of the AP buff for melee classes. All of this makes it a great time to take a look at the state of DPS among all of the specs.

Of course, we don't have nearly as much data as Blizzard has access to; however, we do have better data than ever before. In particular, the best data source we have comes from raiders who upload raid parses to World of Logs, which then makes these tens of thousands of parses available to all of us. Next, we have Raidbots, a site that automatically parses this data for us, letting us very easily sort through those massive numbers of raid parses.

One of the things that I think too many players get caught up on with this data is looking at the rankings -- and I've certainly been guilty of this myself. It's just so easy to look and say "Hey, my class is ranked 10 of the 22 specs." But of course, that's not terribly helpful -- after all, I don't care if I'm ranked 21 if I'm only 50 DPS behind number one.

Join me after the cut as we take a look at a different way of examining the data to see how all the DPS specs are performing in Firelands.

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Filed under: Raiding

Totem Talk: Restoration tier 13 set bonuses and Firelands nerf

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

So last week, we talked about the aesthetics of the shaman tier 13 set. It is a pretty good-looking set overall, and it was very nice to hear what the community had to say about it as a whole. You guys certainly offered quite a bit of insight into how you view the set. We also took some time to make some speculative guesses as to what we might see in the next patch in regards to shaman healing and even discussed how the developers looked at healing as a whole.

Another week has come and gone, and it certainly has been full of excitement. We got our first glimpses of the restoration shaman two- and four-piece set bonuses for tier 13, and I thought we could take a moment today to talk about that as well as what the current tweaks to the Firelands raids mean for you as a restoration shaman.

Oh, and in case you didn't see in Sunday's The Queue, that handsome dwarf shaman on the playing card is yours truly. I'll freely admit that I squeed a bit when I saw that arrive in my inbox.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Blizzard announces first round of Firelands raid hotfixes

Blizzard recently announced that both the normal and heroic mode encounters in the Firelands would be rebalanced and nerfed over the coming weeks to make the raid tier more accessible to many raid groups. The nerfs and changes begin this week, with the first round of nerfs to make the raiding experience a bit less demanding.

Normal difficulty bosses Shannox, Beth'tilac, and Rhyolith took 15% decreases to health and damage, whereas all of the other bosses in Firelands took a 25% hit. Certain trash packs have had their proverbial bite removed, and Alysrazor's tornadoes will now move more slowly. All adds in these encounters have had their health pools and damage decreased in the same proportions to their corresponding bosses'.

On heroic difficulty, all bosses' health pools and damage, along with adds' corresponding health and damage, have been reduced by a blanket 15%, which is a huge nerf for heroic modes. Alysrazor also drops more feathers on both difficulty settings, and her Wings of Flame buff is now a static 30 seconds.

While many players will be upset with these nerfs, I can only imagine the many raid groups that will happily charge forward to finally defeat the encounters that they have been banging their heads against for the better part of the patch. Blizzard has said that there will be more nerfs coming, as this is just the first round, so make use of this time to get as many of the bosses as you can while the getting is hot.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking Baleroc (and somehow surviving to the end)

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Perhaps it's just me, but I find Baleroc to be one of the most intense fights to tank that I've thus far encountered in Firelands. You have three phases featuring varying degrees of speed at which you'll be mashed into a fine gruel, all performed by a dual-wielding boss with a swing speed that barely lets you catch you breath from the one-punch before the subsequent two-punch comes screaming in across your sweat-drenched brow and knocks whatever remaining molars you've managed to hold onto right out of your bloody maw and into the general direction of the profanity-uttering feral druid beside you. Or at least, that's how my active imagination likes to picture it while I'm laying on the ground waiting for my battle rez.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. Despite his bag of tricks, Baleroc still comes up short in comparison to the raiding paladin, if only because our bag of tricks is actually a massive steel tool cabinet, and each drawer is packed with amazing tools that can cut right through whatever the boss might throw at us. We're like the iPhones of tanking -- there's a cooldown for that. Continue on, and I'll detail how to use each of your abilities to their optimum effect and thus achieve that hallowed nirvana of the boss fight: not having to get rezzed at the end.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: Shadow priest's guide to Shannox

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. On Wednesdays, shadow priesting expert Fox Van Allen rains down sweaty, sticky, uncomfortably warm destruction on all who oppose him (especially Tyler Caraway). Fox encourages you to follow him on Twitter.

It's pretty miserable here in Boston today. I'm sweating, and not in the sexy, glistening skin way -- in the wring out a T-shirt way. It's, like, 90-something, which to a New Englander is damn hot. And to all you people who live in Las Vegas (Oh ho ho, it's 129 here today, you wimp!), shut up -- you chose to live in a place that's awful year round, not me.

Anyway, this uncomfortable sweatiness has me starved for revenge. Beings of fire, you shall face my wrath!

Over the next few uncomfortable, sweat-stained months of summer, we'll be taking on the bosses of the Firelands right here in Spiritual Guidance in seek of precious relief (and purples). This week: vile hunter Shannox and his adorable flaming skeleton pets.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

World First: Paragon defeats heroic 25-man Ragnaros

After just a few weeks of Firelands raiding, DREAM Paragon has defeated Ragnaros on 25-man heroic mode, earning them the world first and the Firelord title. DREAM Paragon announced the news on their website, promising their kill shot and comments in the near future. Congratulations to Paragon for this world first.

The heroic version of the Ragnaros fight adds a whole new phase to the encounter in which Ragnaros regains his full Firelord strength, steps out of his swirling molten pool, and becomes mobile around the platform with his new firelegs. Cenarius, Hamuul Runetotem and Malfurion Stormrage assist the players in tackling Ragnaros' many abilities in this new phase, finally putting out the Firelord's lights for good.

Heroic modes for the Ragnaros fight and others in the Firelands were also not available on the public test realm, making it that much more difficult for these hardcore raiding guilds to get time in on these encounters.

I am excited to hear about Paragon's time with these bosses in the Firelands. At only seven bosses, the Firelands is one of the more accessible raid zones, with a time commitment that feels far smaller than the monolithic endeavors of the past, like ICC or Ulduar. Has Firelands presented enough of a challenge to the top of the top guilds? Whatever the case, congratulations again! I hope that my guild will be at heroic Rag's door in the near future.

Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Shannox

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.

Shannox is the leader of the Flamewalker hunters and generally the first boss that players tangle with in Firelands. He comes complete with his two pets, Riplimb and Rageface, all of which have to be fought at the same time. Shannox is different than most bosses in that he isn't initially in the dungeon; you must first clear a fairly hefty amount of trash in order to force him to spawn.

Also unlike other boss encounters, he does not have a set location where you can fight him. Instead, he pads around the pathway that circles around the entire opening portion of the zone. He will always spawn at Baleroc's gate in the back center of the room and from there circle counterclockwise.

Think your raid is ready to take on the best hunter in the Firelands?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Totem Talk: Restoration shaman tips on healing Lord Rhyolith and Beth'tilac

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the Raid Warning podcast), shows you how.

Last week, we had a lovely little chat about tracking your cooldowns and how they have become much more important than in the previous tiers of content. Some great addon suggestions were made in the comments, and as a result, I'm even giving TellMeWhen a try this week in raiding.

This week, I thought we would talk about something involving a considerable amount of fire. If you're a raiding restoration shaman, chances are good that this past week you got to set foot in the land of fire and giants that are set on fire. I'm talking, of course, about the Firelands raid. Healing in the new instance has been both fun and hectic all at the same time, and I've personally been having quite a bit of fun learning the encounters. Besides, what better way to fight fire than with the element of water! This week's image is supplied by the wonderful MagicalMelonBall, inspired by my love of Indiana Jones and hatred of spiders.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light And How To Swing It: Retribution changes and new gear in 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. With the Light as his strength, Durin Mundahl takes on the foes of Azeroth with all the wrath of a retribution paladin. Feel free to send your retribution questions or comments to

Where do retribution paladins stand now that 4.2 is here? Let's look at the current state of the ret pally. In future patches, this information may become outdated, so use your own Judgement when reading. Side effects may include increased raid AOE damage and an overall feeling of satisfaction. Working as intended.

Let's get down to business, shall we?

  • Seal of Righteousness now can be activated by any melee ability, not just single target melee abilities. This adds Hammer of the Righteous (the physical component) and Divine Storm to the list of abilities that can activate this seal. In addition, Seal of Righteousness procs can now be critical effects.
  • Inquiry of Faith now increases Inquisition duration by 66/133/200%, up from 50/100/150%.
  • The Seals of Command talent now makes Seal of Righteousness hit an unlimited number of melee targets, instead of only 2 additional targets.
  • Selfless Healer can no longer be dispelled and cannot be stolen via Spellsteal; and, in addition to its current effects, it lowers the cooldown of Word of Glory by 5/10 seconds.
  • Glyph of Seal of Truth expertise bonus now also works when Seal of Righteousness is active.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Arcane Brilliance: Upgrading your mage's gear in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Other things, too, but none of those things are nearly as important. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that Arcane Brilliance is, without a doubt, the single greatest weekly mage column on this website. Period.

New patch day has come and gone, and we're all now furiously blasting through the new content, hoping to upgrade our old uber gear for new uber gear. I love the weeks following patch days. It's like the twelve days of Christmas, only instead of turtle doves and french hens we get magical flaming staves and giant angry lava spiders.

Sadly, all that new gear doesn't simply come down the chimney and appear below our flaming Christmas trees. We have to earn it, farm for it, slay bosses for it, and quest for it. All of those things take time, a thing I find I have precious little of these days. So where best to allocate our time in order to get the gear we want in the most efficient ways possible?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Ready Check: The quest for Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest

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.

There is one thing about WoW that is a constant. No matter what happens in the game, there is one truth that will never change. That is, people get color-crazy. Blue gear, purple gear, orange gear -- people care about the color of the items that you are wearing. When a new legendary is introduced into the game, that becomes the biggest thing on everyone's lips. It is the new hot item, the one thing that everyone wants.

Patch 4.2 introduced one such item. Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is the big deal of this raiding tier, and it is the thing that people want. Last week, I did a little blurb about the staff, but that alone wasn't enough. There've been plenty of emails asking for more information on the specifics of the legendary, so here are your answers.

(For those wondering, next week will see the start of the Ready Check raiding guides, so make sure to tune in for those as we go an an adventure of killing all of this tier's big bads. For now, let's talk about a staff.)

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Firelands: WoW Insider's first impressions

Pssst. Hey you. Yeah, you. Come here. Do you like clearing trash? Is clearing trash, like, the best? Do you love trash respawns on tight timers? Well, have I got the raid for you!

Patch 4.2 has been live on servers for a little over 24 hours now, which means that the Firelands raid is just as new. Hardcore raiders that we are (well, some of us), a team of WoW Insider writers headed into the raid instance on its inaugural night with the intent of offering our first impressions.

How would the new encounters test healers? What kind of issues would tanks face? Would crowd control efforts would be necessary? Matt Low of Raid RX, warrior tank Mat McCurley, and enhancement shaman Josh Myers all headed into the Firelands to find out. What follows are their insights and opinions from the point of view of a healer, a tank, and a DPSer, respectively.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Valor point awards for tier 12 bosses increased

There's terrific news this morning for those planning on raiding The Firelands when patch 4.2 launches: Blizzard has quietly increased the amount of Valor Points earned from downing tier 12 bosses and Occu'thar, the new boss in Baradin Hold.

Patch 4.2 Public Test Realm Guide - [Updated 6/14]
Valor & Justice Points
  • The number of Valor Points awarded for killing a boss in the Firelands is 70 120 in 10-player mode, and 90 140 in 25-player mode.
  • The number of Valor Points awarded for killing Occu'thar in Baradin Hold is 35 120 in 10-player mode, and 45 140 in 25-player mode.

The previous, lower values caused a lot of hand wringing on the official forums. As people rightly complained, they did not allow raiders to reach the weekly cap simply by running the new tier 12 content. Players would have to choose between five-man heroics and stale tier 11 content to cap their VP, something many considered a time-consuming tedium.

The new values allow ten-man raiders to (almost) reach the new 960 980 point VP cap with a full clear of all new tier 12 content; 25-man raiders can reach the cap by beating any seven of the eight.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: News items

Patch 4.2 PTR raid testing continues tonight

The testing for patch 4.2's Firelands raid content has been moving along at a steady clip, save for Friday's testing period, which got derailed due to server issues. But never fear! The 25-player modes for flamewaker hunter Shannox, spider queen Beth'tilac, and cranky (almost Rossi-like) elemental Lord Rhyolith are up for testing tonight to make up for Friday's lost time.

Make sure to check out our impressions of three of the new bosses: Alysrazor, Lord Rhyolith, and Beth'tilac.

We're going to retry Friday's schedule, today!

Monday, June 6
2:30 PM PDT – Shannox (25 Player)
4:00 PM PDT – Beth'tilac (25 Player)
5:30 PM PDT – Lord Rhyolith (25 Player)

As always, the schedule can change at a moment's notice due to issues with the build, server, encounter, or the mercurial nature of designers. The encounters are all a work in progress; there will be bugs and tuning is not final.

The news is rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

Filed under: Raiding

Officers' Quarters: Firelands will not save your guild

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

I try to be a glass-half-full sort of guy, especially when I write these columns. (I don't always succeed, but I try.) In my opinion, leaders should be optimists who prepare for the worst. Today, however, I have a rather pessimistic message for you: Firelands will not save your raiding guild.

What I'm seeing with my own guild and what I'm hearing from all of you, week after week, is that guilds are struggling right now. With Cataclysm offering no new way to advance characters, long-time players are tiring of WoW's endless gear treadmill. Slots are becoming tougher and tougher to fill as players grow bored or frustrated with tier 11. Officers are burning out at a blistering pace. The playerbase, in general, is poised for something truly new -- not just a rehash of old raids.

Firelands is our best hope -- but I'm sorry to say, it won't be enough.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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