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Posts with tag trial-of-the-crusader

Spiritual Guidance: Playing catch up with shadow priests


Fox Van Allen steps out of the shadows every Wednesday to take control of Spiritual Guidance, telling you all you need to know to melt faces with expert precision.

The era of patch 3.2 held some dark days for a shadow priest. The fights in Trial of the Crusader were definitely not built for shadow priests, especially in heroic mode. We scaled terribly with new gear. Our tier 9 gear was questionably designed. Every class has their own problems, but the problems that besieged shadow priests were bad enough to negatively effect raid performance. It wasn't hard for shadow priests to get left behind.

Patch 3.3, though -- this is our time. The changes to the spec have already been detailed: buffs to our glyphs, talents, and haste-affected DoTs gave us a ten-to-twenty percent boost to our damage right off the bat. Our tier 10 gear gives powerful two- and four-piece bonuses. And best yet, the fights in the new Icecrown Citadel five-man dungeons and raids seem as if they were built for us. We add tremendous value to an ICC raid in almost every fight.

Actually seeing those fights, though -- that can be a challenge. Patch 3.2 did a lot of damage to the shadow priest class's reputation. An increased emphasis on "gear score" in the game can (unfairly) get an average-geared shadow priest written off. We can't just take playing for granted -- past problems with the spec means there's a higher bar for us.

If you got left behind in the last patch or even if you're a newly minted level 80, don't worry -- you can catch up quick. Here's how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Raid Rx: 2009 Boss healing awards


Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related.

Welcome to the 2009 healing awards where we look back on some of the craziest healing encounters introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Which fights frustrated healers the most? Which ones involved a ridiculous amount of healing? Which boss went directly against our role as healers? The judging panel should have consisted entirely of gnomes, but Wilfred Fizzlebang was unable to make it at the last minute and I was asked to step in at the last minute to help finalize the results.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Phat Loot Phriday: Unspeakable Secret

Mindor asked us to please do a caster staff this week, so here's one you can go find in the new Frozen Halls instances this weekend.

Name: Unspeakable Secret (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Staff
Damage/Speed: 281-519 / 2.80 (143.1 DPS)
Attributes:
  • +81 Stamina, +81 Intellect.

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Filed under: Items, How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Phat Loot Phriday, Guides

Guildwatch "makes a potion out the QQ"

The story here is all about sweet, sweet ego: Aliana had a sense of entitlement while raiding -- she was angry that items she would really like to have were going to someone who could only do 4k as opposed to her 9k, thanks to a lousy so-called fair DKP system. We'd like to think Grator is a true Guildwatch fan: we just sit back, listen in, and make a delicious potion "out the QQ."

Lots more QQ potion in this week's Guildwatch, along with the last downings before Icecrown and recruiting notices from around the realms. If you have something to send us (and please do -- the coffers are running a little low, probably because guild business has slowed down pre-patch), throw us an email at guildwatch@wow.com. Hit the link below to read on.

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Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor, Guildwatch, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 2



Welcome back to the
Scattered Shots, where real players are hunters and everyone else is just an avatar. I'm Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge and THL Podcast. Each week we discuss ways to help improve your hunter.

Welcome back to part 2 of our "Picking the right hunter loot" guide. Where each week we take a look at raid loot from WoTLK and help you understand what makes something hunter loot versus loot hunters can use. Here's what we talked about before:

Part 1
– We reviewed what item stats make up hunter gear. Also, we explained why every hunter needs to stack hit and strive for the hit cap. We also explained how agility, attack power, critical strike, and armor penetration work with each of the three hunter specs.

This week we're going to start exploring the hunter loot that drops in Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader. I'm sure we'll have some spirited debate over the merits of each item. And, I'm pretty sure we'll see druids mangling their keyboards and rogues will throw in a cheap shot or two over our ability to equip almost anything.

In an effort keep the carnage at a minimum let's try to keep a few things in mind. We're only reviewing raid loot and how each item affects your hunter and favorite raiding pet's performance. Which means, we're not going to talk about where else to go and get geared. Nor are we going to debate what is and is not considered "Best in Slot" or not. And if you're looking for PvP alternatives? I promise, we'll tackle all of those later on in a different guide.

Now if you're wondering why we're not talking about what's over on the PTR for patch 3.3. We'll make sure and cover all of Icecrown when it's released. Then head on back to the other Northrend raids and finish up where we left off.

With that said, let's walk through the swirly portal and head into Trial of the Crusader and it's heroic sibling Trial of the Grand Crusader.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Guildwatch: "You guys raid like little girls"

Ok Blizzard. We give up. Patch 3.3 can come out now, please. Guilds are cleaning up even the Tribute achievements in Trial of the Crusader, and pretty much everybody is just sitting around waiting for Icecrown to drop. Even drama is taking a break -- with plenty of loot to go around and everyone getting what they want, nobody is actually fighting any more. Where's our crazy ninjas and raiding breakups? We need to get some new progression content, and soon!

Way too much "good" drama (including a daring emergency Vent call) in this week's Guildwatch, alongside the usual downed and recruiting notices. If you don't see something you like, you can help: send your tips about drama, downed (hopefully we'll see lots of Marrowgar downs next week), and recruiting news to guildwatch@wow.com. Meanwhile, this week's GW is after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 2


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the issue of effective health in more depth.

We've discussed in the previous column why effective health is important; here, we're going to discuss why it's not as important as you might think if you had nothing beyond the collective opinion of the Tanking forum to go on. While this has something to do with the mob mentality of the forums themselves, it has more to do with how the concept of effective health isn't usually placed in context. Tank death on hard modes is quickly attributed to EH discrepancies, with rather less discussion on encounter mechanics, inappropriate gear, or that great but frequently unacknowledged bugaboo -- player error. It is for this that I say effective health needs to die.

What is effective health?


I neglected to put some hard numbers on this in the last article, but calculating base effective health is actually pretty simple. It's your health as modified by the damage you'll take after armor contribution (AC), or Health / (1 - AC%).

A 50,000 health tank with 25% armor contribution has 66,666.67 effective health (50,000 / 0.75).

A 50,000 health tank with 50% armor contribution has 100,000 effective health (50,000 / 0.5).

A 50,000 health tank with 75% armor contribution (the maximum functional AC) has 200,000 effective health (50,000 / .25).

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Guildwatch: The waiting game

More and more guilds are becoming just like Zen, above -- they're downing Anub in Trial of the Crusader, and then wondering just what's next? The answer, of course, is Icecrown, but even our best estimates have that release a month away still. Not that anyone's blaming Blizzard yet -- quite a few guilds are still working on hard modes, and more people are worried just what'll happen after Icecrown (though I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard still has a few cards up their sleeve for that one). But still, at this point, guilds are reaching their limits, and we're starting to see the calm before the storm of raiding in patch 3.3.

That doesn't mean Guildwatch isn't busy -- we've got the usual downed, drama, and recruiting notices from around the realms. And if your guild is still active, be sure to tell us about it: send a tip to guildwatch@wow.com, and you'll see it here in the future. Read on for more.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Guildwatch, Factions

Ensidia snags world-first Tribute to Immortality

Ensidia, now of Tarren Mill-EU, reported today that they have captured the world-first A Tribute to Immortality. Considered to be one of the most difficult, if not most difficult, raiding achievements currently in the game, A Tribute to Immortality requires a perfect run of heroic Trial of the Crusader-25 with no player deaths and all 50 attempts remaining. The reward for pulling this off is the Crusader's Black Warhorse (Alliance version here), but I wouldn't expect to see too many of these running around in the near future.

I'm most impressed that they managed to get through the heroic version of Faction Champs without losing anyone, although -- as Mackzter acknowledges on the news release -- the achievement "involves a bit of luck." Congratulations to Ensidia, and best of luck to all the guilds out there working on this as well!

Filed under: Ranking, News items, Raiding, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: When I left you, I was but the learner

Interesting weekend for me: My schedule is such that I can't really do weekend raids with my Alliance guild, but with fall coming the crummy weather seems to have led to a renaissance for my Horde side play, and suddenly I found myself running Onyxia and TotC 10 on Malfurion in my finest Tauren warrior self. (Tauren warriors: great race/class combo or the greatest race/class combo? The world may never know.) Since I'm fairly familiar with the fights in both cases, it seemed natural enough to explain them for people who hadn't done them.

And then I realized that, without really even paying attention, I'd sort of taken the job over entirely. It just seemed like what I should do: even when I forgot to mention an element of a fight like Gormok's spell lock, I just found myself calmly explaining things in a voice that, frankly, I didn't really even recognize. It was as if I was comfortable telling people what to do. Almost without realizing it I'd started telling people what to do in a raid, and they were doing it. The whole thing was somewhat surreal all told.

So how about you? Ever found yourself leading a raid, an instance, or just a charge across AV without really expecting it? Or are you always in charge in WoW? Are you a leader, a follower, or a bit of both?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Ready Check: Anub'arak


Here he is. The big cheese. The final countdown. The last boss (currently) available in raiding progression. Anub'arak is the final encounter in the Trial of the Crusader. If you feel a sense of deja-vu while getting ready to throw down with the big bug, don't worry -- you're not insane. (At least, you're not insane because you think you recognize the boss.)

Anub'arak was the final boss in Azjol'Nerub. And while the Trial of the Crusader version is certainly much higher octane, this raid version does share some basic similarities with the previous fight. They both have adds, some kind of burrowing action, and bugs. Lots of bugs.

Let's jump behind the cut and see how to get this done.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ready Check (Raiding)

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Just like it used to be


This week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors chronicles a turn. After 11 months as fury, Matthew Rossi has changed gears and transitioned his role once more. Sometimes you can go home again.

I've given fury up for dead. Not because it actually is dead. You can do good DPS with it if you have best in slot gear in every slot, which is par for the course with fury, really... I'm sure we'll see some nerfs heading into patch 3.3 to soft reset fury DPS to keep it below everyone else the same way we did going into Ulduar. But for me, it's not even the fact that you have to gear with a spreadsheet and compete with every other physical DPS class for those few drops that actually have the stats you want, it's the fact that when you do this, you get to follow the exact same stultifying rotation we've had since forever. Fury may or may not be fine, but frankly, it's gotten boring.

Bloodsurge can only make up for so much. At least with an Arms spec, while the DPS is slightly less, you get to do fun things. And so my DPS spec is now arms all the way since I have Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader gear to support it, a honking great 2h sword (and so far I'm liking the retooled sword spec) and plenty of things to swing it at. Arms is active. You're constantly using abilities, and while it's ultimately almost as predictable as fury when you get right down to it, it doesn't feel like it is. Between keeping your Rend active (letting it fall off then reapplying it for maximum Overpowers), hitting Sudden Death Executes and Slam in between MS and Overpower feels less like a clunky, hit this key then that key then this key rotation and more like you're weaving in attacks.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Ready Check: Twin Val'kyr



Ready Check is a column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses.

The Twin Val'kyr encounter is the fourth and penultimate battle in the Trial of the Crusader. In this fight, your raid will face down two Val'kyr bosses. They are identical in every way, except for the nature of their attacks. Fjola Lightbane will attack you with the power of the Light. Her sister is Eydis Darkbane attacks you with the power of the Dark.

The Twin Val'kyr fight is a confusing one. However, e should be careful not to mix up confusing with difficult. But we should at least be honest and acknowledge that keeping track of the "Stand in Light" and "Attack the Dark" can get pretty mindbending. To sum up, you get light and dark buffs that protect you from your aligned source of damage, and buffs you when you do damage to your opposite.

So, while this fight's pretty easy once you get the handful of maneuvers down, it can be confusing to talk about.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Breakfast Topic: A lot of catching up to do


I took quite a break from World of Warcraft. Just as it happens to a lot of people, things in real life get in the way and we put the game aside, either suspending our subscriptions or only having to occasionally log in. Of course, the inevitable happens and we get left behind on gear. Just like fashion in Milan (I wouldn't know, as I've never actually been to Milan), old gear is so last season. Trial of the Crusader gear, as the phrase goes, is the new black.

It's not just gear, either. Mostly, I took a break from the game also because our mega-awesome guild leader took a break to prepare for his wedding this October. He left the reins to a decent bloke, but someone who simply wasn't of the same caliber as a guild and raid leader. Fast forward a couple of months later, I log in and things are different. I mean, sure, Patch 3.2 dropped, and suddenly I'm wearing epics more suited for fresh Level 80s running PUG raids. But the guild itself was different... new faces (or names, anyway), and suddenly I'm the one getting the "who's this dude?" raised eyebrow. It's unsettling.

Oh yeah, good morning. Since I've got the coolest community of WoW players starting the day off with me, here's something to chew on -- how do you catch up? How do you jump-start your gear? Do you make friends with all these new guild faces? Jump ship (or server)? If you took a long break from the game, how would you come back? It's kind of like a fresh start, and even though Blizzard has made it easier for players to catch up, what would be the first thing you would do? Where would you start? My first instinct is to jump into a Battleground, but then again, that's my first instinct even if I didn't take a break. So you're playing again. Uh... now what?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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