Archive for December, 2010

4 of them?! OH NO!

Lowered Expectations is proud to announce they have dropped two bosses last night within a span of almost 2.5 hours! The Conclave of Wind (Throne of the Four Winds) and Omnotron Defense System (Blackwing Descent) have bitten the dust. Here is a small mini-guide to how to properly execute in this fight, our way.

Our group composition for this fight was:

  • Protection Paladin
  • Protection Warrior
  • 2 Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration Druid
  • Combat Rogue
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • DPS Feral Druid
  • Shadow Priest
  • Destruction Warlock

There is a major mechanic that all bosses share: it is a shield that appears when the boss you are fighting hits 50 energy. ALL DAMAGE DEALERS (tanks and DPS) must NOT attack during these phases, and DPS should shift to the next active boss.

What happens if you hit or break a boss’ shield?

  1. Arcanotron: He hits harder. Probably the least annoying, but any attacker on it will cause him to pound a tank. “Power Conversion” is a magic debuff and therefore can be dispelled/purged/spellstolen/Shield Slam’d off.
  2. Electron: Every attack causes you to explode in a high-damaging AoE to all targets around you. Probably the worst one.
  3. Magmatron: If his barrier is broken through DoTs, regular attacks, you name it… all raiders take a good amount of damage (75k range in 10-man). The second worst.
  4. Toxitron: Every attack poisons the attacker, but allows the poisoned raider to deal extra nature damage through it. Probably not worth it due to the already large amount of AoE healing required in the fight, but if you’re feeling risky…

If you’re the tank…

  1. ***In general, do NOT hit the bosses while their shields are up. Just don’t do it.***
  2. During this fight, there will be at 2 of these guys up at once. Positioning is a huge factor to give your raid running room!
  3. Arcanotron: His “Arcane Annihilator” has a short cast time and outside of meleeing you, that’s about all he does in terms of damaging your raid. When “Power Generator” goes off, move him out. “Power Conversion” is a magic debuff and therefore can be dispelled/purged/spellstolen/Shield Slam’d off while you and another raider interrupts it.
  4. Electron: Your melee should be able to avoid the “Lightning Conductor” if they are at max range. This one in particular is bad if you hit him during his shield phase; you will explode.
  5. Magmatron: He is probably best in the center of the room in terms of positioning due to “Acquiring Target”. If you are the target, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  6. Toxitron: Bring him to the corner of a room. He is probably the biggest nuisance due to his “Poison Protocol”. If you can slow one or two of them as they appear under his feet, do so. Move any active boss to his “Poison Cloud” to increase damage to him, but don’t stand in it yourself.

If you’re the healer…

  1. ***In general, never forget the tank! There are a lot of things going on, so pace yourself.***
  2. Arcanotron: Get in the “Power Generator”. Your mana regeneration is increased while you are in it. Be aware of abilities that will flush you from it, like Magmatron’s “Acquiring Target”, Toxitron’s “Poison Protocol” and “Poison Cloud”, and Electron’s “Lightning Conductor” and Electrical Discharge”. Know random members will take damage from “Arcane Annihilator” if no one interrupts.
  3. Electron: Stay spread out.
  4. Magmatron: The raid takes AoE damage from “Incineration Security Measure”, and one target takes heavy damage from “Acquiring Target”. If you are the target, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  5. Toxitron: Be wary of sudden tank damage as “Poison Cloud” positioning happens. If someone fails to kill the slime during “Poison Protocol”, get ready to heal them quick as it will bring them down to millimeters of their life.

If you’re the DPS…

  1. ***Target change immediately when a new bot is up!***
  2. Arcanotron: If you can interrupt, do it when he casts “Arcane Annihilator”. Caster DPS can use the “Power Generator”, but you should be second to the healer’s priority.
  3. Electron: Stay spread out.
  4. Magmatron: It is very important you STOP ALL DAMAGE OVER TIME SPELLS prior to his barrier being cast! It is all damage being taken, not just being attacked, that will cause his barrier to explode for massive damage on the raid. If you are the target of “Acquiring Target”, find an area unoccupied by raiders and make sure you’re the only one hit. If you are not targeted, move behind the boss.
  5. Toxitron: Be aware of “Poison Protocol”— your responsibilities are to kill those slimes and slow them down and be aware of any that focus on you. Be aware of “Poison Cloud” during times where you could be taking AoE damage from any number of sources in this fight.

I hope this helps! Leave comments if there is anything wrong or something I could add!


Heroic Dungeon Difficulty

What you may be looking forward to in your next heroic dungeon PUG...

If you haven’t already guessed, there is a fair share of idiocy that runs rampant throughout some battlegroups. You may recognize a server name— and not for quality players! For instance, I like to pick on US-PvE Exodar. That server is balls. I mean, it was dead halfway through Burning Crusade, and didn’t seem like any Horde guild really controlled it because it was always in a state of fluctuation…

But anyway, that’s not what this post is about: it’s about the DERP in your heroic group. Here are some tips to make sure your heroic experience is not wasted.

  • Even if you’re not the tank, learn how to mark targets. I think this is a crucial thing to learn only because it can make your groups, even guild ones, faster. If you’re the rogue and you mark what you’re going to sap, you’re keeping the group moving. Or if you’re the mage, and you know what thing needs to be sheeped? Mark it. I promise no one will get angry about that. Now, if you don’t know what you should take care of, you may want to ask… though, if you show weakness in a PUG, you might get kicked because people are jerks and this is the internet. Mob priority is something everyone should know— caster type mobs are dangerous, healer types are dangerous… Shadowlancers in Halls of Origination are pretty dangerous.
  • Learn your shapes and colors. If I say “sheep the triangle” and you will only sheep the moon because that’s what you’re used to, then to be honest? Get out.
  • If you can interrupt, you should. Once again, with the lack of quality in some heroic and even normal groups, we forget that if you can interrupt it, you probably should! There are no reasons to NOT interrupt a mob or a boss if you can (though with one fight in particular on heroic for an achievement, you may end up ignoring this… I’m looking at you, Rajh).
  • If you can dispel/purge/spellsteal, you should. Even more emphasis on the Spellsteal. When I played my mage, this was easily my most favorite thing to do. If you ever did Shadow Labyrinth in Burning Crusade, you could spellsteal the demon-corehound transformation thing and just melee stuff really fast. It was awesome.
  • If you’re the tank, watch healer mana. This sounds ridiculously obvious, but I am in the market for stating it often. Sometimes a pull doesn’t go the way you want it— your warlock’s imp goes nuts, your death knight wants to hit that cooldown for his free Howling Blast as soon as possible… whatever it is, you may want to consider that cooldowns are always necessary for it. Especially warrior tanks— Shield Block at 30 seconds? Abuse it.
  • Have patience. Heroic dungeons, right now, are not meant to be cake walks. But that doesn’t mean you should be wiping on trash. Use the CC, have healers drink, just be consistently moving or doing something. If people don’t know how to do the fight, or refuse to do things right… or heck, are pulling 2k on bosses? Kick them. There is a reason why that tool exists, and it’s not for me to abuse it on dumb people (though I am sure I am making many friends with my “GET OUT YOU SUCK” attitude).
  • If at first you don’t succeed? Maybe you should do some normals. You can still get some iLvl 333 items in normals. That’s pretty important if you’re stuck wearing some nice iLvl 318 bracers…

I hope this list helps. If it doesn’t… uh… blame every troll death knight everywhere.


"Failure is not an option."

Unlike Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon, who express firmly in the movie that during the perilous times of the Apollo 13, “failure is not an option”, sometimes it is an inevitable destination we cannot avoid. It’s when multiple points of failure come together to create the “fail”.

The point of failure can come from any location of an instance or a raid. No role is immune to making bad calls. A lapse of concentration, a small distraction from a ringing phone, even being hungry can all lead to the incoming wipe and running back to the instance/raid portal.

I think that a lot of people put a lot into “winning” or success. We find that what we’ve been doing for so long is actually working; that what we assume is right with our various roles in a fight are the ones we must keep doing. The loot, is if anything, incidental— we thrive on the knowledge that we are as smart, if not smarter, than what the fight asks us for.

However, it is when we fail that we learn the most. Failure asks us to second guess any choices made, tells us that we need to be better at what we do. Even the best player is prone to mistakes, and even the most obvious ones aren’t always the major ones. You may be the greatest at dodging the void zone or kiting the mob… but if you don’t know your rotation, you don’t know what buttons to press at the heat of the moment, then we have another issue right there— another point of failure.

We must learn how to fail correctly. I think when we don’t, we expect that automatically everyone knows what went wrong. And that’s not always the case. The smartest person in the room may not always account for the one person who sits quietly unaware (sometimes in bliss, sometimes not) of their undoings.

When we fail, we should ask ourselves these questions and acknowledge the following:

  • What went wrong for all people involved? It’s not always about you (and neither is that song).
  • What wasn’t clear in theĀ  instruction? Clarity is a huge deal, and if you aren’t able to word it properly, find someone who can. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)!
  • Are we underperforming? Why? Sometimes, especially when we view how difficult healing can be now, fight duration is a huge gauge. If DPS is slow, healers do not always have enough mana to carry a fight 10-12 minutes long. But healers don’t conserve mana well, and if tanks don’t use cooldowns and keep up certain debuffs often… that is also a possibility to consider.
  • Don’t place blame out loud. Calling people out is wrong. Ask questions instead. Be indirect. You will make people less defensive that way.
  • Learning is also part of the fight. Just because you read, watch, and listen while learning about an encounter, doesn’t mean you automatically know or can adhere to those strategies. Take some time to figure out what will be better for you and your group.
  • Sometimes, calling it is your best option. We digest information best after sleep. It is true. After we acknowledge our mistakes, we should rest, because we can formulate better ways to do things… or we really just realize how easy things can be.

We learn to live with our failures, and we must learn how to fail in anything— WoW included, as it’s a game. And we can’t make a game something we hate to fail at. Every wipe or loss can be a small realization. That’s just as important to some phat loots, at least, to me.

(Also possible I’m just nuts.)