Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Darksend's Weekly Tip: Yogg-Saron

There will be no weekly tip next week as I have a special surprise for this week. TWO TIPS.

Enjoy and see you in Ulduar

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Darksend's Weekly Tip: Raven Mount Tutorial

This week, I am launching my youtube channel with my first instructional video.

I recommend watching it on youtube if you are watching it in HD even if the sound is shifted slightly in parts.

This was just to get my feet wet with editing again as I plan to do several more instructional videos. If you like the idea post some feedback about what kind of things you would like to see. If you have specific questions about the video most of them are answered in the voice over but if they are not just drop a comment and I will be glad to answer.

One thing that is not mentioned in the video, you do not have to clear the entire room, but it is very risky. When he banishes himself the birds can agro other pulls, but it was not always the same pull every time. If you want to roll the dice and potentially save time you can but I recommend against it.

As always, all the past weekly tips are viewable here and here.

(10 man yogg kill will be up by next week, server second AFAIK - my alt got the server first FFS alts)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ulduar cleared

Yogg down tonight.

Last night we downed general, FIRST KILL I CANNOT BELIEVE MY LUCK.

Main tanked 90% of the instance (yes as a druid.)

The gear I have on is the gear I wore (the gloves are the s6 gloves with an 18 stam enchant and a 24 stam gem, the idol is the one in the link above). The only fight were threat was even close to an issue was General Vezaxx and that is only because of the kiting mechanic. I never DID NOT HAVE vigilance cast on me (more on this later). On most fights I wore polar gear. There is no difference between 40% avoidance and 45% avoidance. In my polar gear I have ~35% dodge. I dodged 10 attacks in a row on XT adds. THERE IS DEFINITELY A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 40K hp and 50K HP.

This is me getting glyph of Survival Instincts nerfed.

I am sorry but there is no debating this, the EH theory of progression tanking is by far the only way to do it. Yes I am egotistical, but I am also right. As a fellow blogger put it you simply need to compare the extreme cases of EH and avoidance gearing: if you gear for EH you can just throw more healers at the person, if you gear for avoidance if you take even a single hit you die. Yes those are extremes but they are also true.

Armory me, I did not use my dual spec a single time, and I have not changed my spec since I picked those 2 specs. The gear minus the polar gear that I wore on some fights where I just stood in a corner and did nothing (this more applies to 10 man).

The most noteable 25 man fight I used polar gear was Thorim. The main tank died at 50%, we had me alive, 2 DPS, and 5 healers. We took it from 50% till 10% when he finally got to many stacks and 1shot me. Why, because I took a 35K and a 20K crit back to back swings and lived.


Paladins, Druids, and DKs are all amazing tanks. Warriors are severally underpowered in the HP department. Blizzard, please give warriors a buff without nerfing the other 3 tanking classes.

The biggest problem with warriors is that they can cast vigilance on others. When I am main tanking and my warrior is offtanking I have 3% more mitigation than him from a buff. When it is the other way around, and since we do not have a prot paladin, this creates a massive disadvantadge for him. Any warrior tanking without a prot paladin offtank is severally underpowered.

Edit: 3% mitigation can also be gained from a disc priest, but I do not know how many progression guilds use disc priests. Mine does not so it was not an intentional omission just something my guild does not have access to I had forgotten about.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Calling all Druids: My thoughts on Savage Defense

It does not work


Just to clear up any confusion, no I did not do this. It was actually the second thing I did when I logged on live (after buying the shifting twilight opal pattern!!!!!!!!!!!). Although a lot of people did, including my protoge who I am very disappointed in. He is the whole reason I made this post. His excuse is very valid though we were so used to having it on the PTR we just forgot to train it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Community Spotlight: Tentative Feral Raiding Specs for 3.1

First, I would like to give credit to of Teeth and Claws. Last week, he put up a post about possible specs for 3.1, found here tentative-feral-raiding-specs-for-3.1. A few days before that I posted my own write-up on Tankspot, found here 3-1-bear-specs. While I had already decided to use that post on tankspot for my weekly tip on patch day, I found his post refreshing because it gave me some more things to think about as far as specs, but there are also some things I disagree with (although some of my disagreements are with the comments left by other people not the poster himself).


Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft is the base spec from which all the templates will work off of.

Survivability build: Slightly different in that you drop imp mangle to pick up Feral Aggression. Threat will be touchy with this spec but it has the advantage of never having mangle and faerie fire overlap.

Max TPS: MSS and partial KOTJ provide the highest sustained TPS with an option for burst threat at the trade off of armor.

Main Tank:
Swaps 3 in FA for imp mangle from the survival build. The 2 points left over are throwaways that you can put anywhere (including shredding attacks if you wanted: see below).

MSS/Imp LOTP: This is my favorite spec to tank 25 with because we always have a frost DK dpsing so there is no need to grab IW. It is also the max TPS spec with ILOTP instead of those 2 in KOTJ.

MSS/IW: (that 1 lose point should be in PP) you can drop imp mangle to pick up imp LOTP and finish PP if you want. Remember, because of how the GCD works, 1 or 2 points in imp mangle for tanking is worthless, so drop all 3 or none at all. I put this up to show how gimp a build with both IW and MSS would be. It would be an interesting comparision to see which gives more threat, 4% damage or 5 expertise.

Imp Mark of the Wild

Is now a mandatory talent for all feral druids. If you have not yet done so, look at what it does now.

Go back in time to LK beta, I wrote this talent off and pretty much said I would never get it. Well I was wrong. I hate not having it especially for progression content, even if it is usually almost all overheal, it can be a lifesaver at the right times (example: getting hit by a spell for 75% of your life then procing the heal giving you just enough to survive the melee hit after the spell).

Shredding Attacks
Dual spec kills ANY REASON for having shredding attacks in a bear build, as I strongly do not believe in the so called "bearcat" spec. Sure, it works, but if I am going to DPS I do not want to gimp myself. If a boss is at 5% and the main tank dies, healers have more problems on their hands than worrying about the new tank not having defensive stance. Ulduar bosses hit way to hard in 25, so while you may get away with it on 10, in 25 you simply will not have the hp to survive 2 hits while wearing dps gear in that situation.

The lone exception is when you have to offtank the first 10-25% then start dpsing, which does not happen in Ulduar that I have seen.

As for KOTJ vs MSS for tanking, I did a comparison a while back. Since it is a 5 point investment, MSS gives you .8% damage per point. In Ulduar things hit to hard to be spamming enrage on cooldown but if you did, per point it would give you an increase of .833% per point. To extend that a bit, if use it every 61 seconds it becomes a .819% damage increase per point. Every 62 seconds gives .806% and every 63 seconds .793%. Thus, if you have even 3 seconds of downtime on enrage MSS yields more benefit without the armor reduction.

As always, all the past weekly tips are viewable here and here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

For Tuesday

I have two weekly tips written up. Which one is published depends on if the patch comes out or not.

If the patch does not come out I will be opening my youtube channel with my first instructional video. If you want a sneak peak, go to the coming soon link and add me as a friend on youtube.

If the patch does come out the youtube video will be published on the 21st and the 14th will be my talent review.

EDIT: Youtube project will begin 4/21 offer still stands to friend me on youtube for a sneak peak just leave a comment on this post saying who you are.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Darksend's Weekly Tip: DING! 80, What heroics to run, what gear to buy

Ok, so you just hit 80 and you need to start gearing up. How should you do it? Simple:

  • I have some good blues from leveling, which ones are worth saving?
  • What can I get before stepping foot in an instance?
  • What heroics should I run first?
  • So I ran a few Heroics, what should I buy with my emblems?
  • I finally moved into 25 man raids, are there any valor items I should get?

What items should I have from questing or leveling instances?

There are several quests that give blue quest rewards, and a lot of people do instances while leveling. Are any of those items worth keeping?
What should I spend my gold on?

There are some amazing items you can get before even setting foot into heroics. Most likely if you just hit 80 you will be short on gold, here is a quick spending list to get you started:
Others that make the list but are easily replaced:

The most painful thing for a tank, out DPSing your group in a pug heroic

It happens, so if you want the most bang for the buck, here are the "must run" heroics and their tanking drops:
Emblem of Heroism Items to buy:

Based on my earlier recommendations, things that might possibly appear higher on this list will already have an item of equal level in that slot and have thus been down ranked (noted with a star).
  • Chestguard of the Lost Vanq: This is the very first thing you should buy with emblems no matter what. The chests available from heroics are very sub-par.
  • Gloves of the Lost Vanq: Best gloves until 25 man raiding (since the nerf to the gloves from the CoT quest) and also gives you the 2pc (more important for cat than tanking though).
  • *Chained Military Gorget*: If you crafted the neck above, get the gloves first, otherwise this would normally be my second item to buy. Best neck until 25 naxx.
  • Valor Medal of the First War: I like having this around to pair with greatness deck for avoidance, but not a very strong trinekt especially if you are a JCer or an Alchemist.
  • *Mirror of Truth*: If you are a JCer or Alchemist, or already have a greatness deck and essence of gossamer, then this trinket is definatly a must buy before valor medal. Combine it with greatness deck for a threat/trash set (until the 25 maly trinket).
  • *Jorach's Crocklisk Skin Belt*: Not better than the belt from heroic UK listed above. Only buy if you have spare emblems or bad luck.
The following items are DPS items that should not take priority over tanking items but are good buys that have no comparable item from a heroic:
Emblem of Valor Items to buy:

Finally, you have moved into 25 man raiding. In this list, stars will denote items that are ranked lower because of other drops you have access to in 25 man raiding not other items on this list.
  • Signet of the Impregnable Fortress: Best threat ring in the game, the def is kind of a turn off but the high stam and multiple threat stats more than make up for it.
  • Legplates of the Lost Vanq: I was going to list this third because you can get them as a drop from 2 different bosses (and my guild gets 4 pairs a run), but the fact is these legs are way to good to be left up to chance (best tanking legs in the game ATM).
  • Mantle of the Lost Vanq: As I said above, this is the only thing that replaces those crafted shoulders, but if you have them buy the legs 1st.
  • *Platinum Mesh Cloak*: For threat, the best choice is the 10-Sarth 1D cape with a 16 hit gem, and for mitigation the best one if the one from 25 naxx off random bosses. This leaves this cape in kind of a bad place.
DPS items:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

About time, SI and flask changes

Gone from predicting this, to demanding it, to being absolutly astounded that it had yet to happen.

Well, Blizzard finally got off their asses and made the change to SI that they made to last stand weeks ago:
Survival Instincts cooldown lowered to 3 minutes.
Flasks have also recieved a major update:

Flask of Stoneblood now increases the player's maximum health by 1300.

Most likely, Blizzard will now balance around us having the extra 550 HP, the same way pre 2.1 they balanced around being able to stack every possible consumable. If that does not happen however, (I claim no credit for this) if you look at the progression from BC to LK of all the flasks, the AP, spellpower, and MP5 all recieved 50%+ increases. Going from 500 to 650 is only a 30% increase. The new 1300 flask is a 160% increase. I doubt it will go live but I doubt it will go back to 750 (probably around 850-900 when all is said and done).

Finally, the SI glyph has been increased as well:
Your Survival Instincts ability grants an additional 15% of your maximum health.

I got home much earlier than I expected (earlier flight) and was able to finish up the next tip so it will be published at its normal time 8am on Tuesday.