Archive for April, 2009

Top 10 things I like about the Flame Leviathan

So our guild went into Ulduar for our first real attempts on the Flame Leviathan, last week (10-man version) – and after a couple of tries, we got him down.  Definitely not a hard fight, once you get everyone on the same page.

But what surprised me most, was that it wasn’t a tedious fight, either.  Where I’m usually less-than-enthusiastic about most other vehicle fights in the game, I found myself really really enjoying this one.

So as a tribute to that, here are my Top 10 favorite things about the Flame Leviathan fight:

10.  The EPIC trash.  You don’t just walk into Ulduar, and suddenly come face to face with the first boss (think Naxx, where you are literally 2-3 trash pulls away from Anub’rekhan).  No, here you have to plow your way through *hundreds* of mobs, before getting to the Flame Levi, guardian at the gates.  Sure, they die fast, but it’s nice for once to have to really push your way through to the first boss of a raid.  It’s a good warm-up to your vehicle’s abilities, and it’s quite a bit of fun.

9.  The tower-skipping option.  I love how when you are running this simply for the regular mode, you can just talk to Brann to start up the fight, and therefore not have to go take out all four towers.  Speeds up the process quite a bit, for those who are raiding on a time limit, and don’t want to spend a full hour on one fight.

8.  FIVE modes.  Now that is an awesome way to scale a fight.  Just as things start to seem a bit too easy for you, you can add another tower into the mix, to keep the fight fresh and challenging.  And you get rewarded with an achievement and special gear, for your trouble.  Much more fun than a starter boss like Anub’rekhan, where you soon start to just kill him, to get him out of the way.

7. The scaling-with-gear.  Everyone already knows about this one, but it’s still worth mentioning.  It’s very cool on Blizzard’s part to reward players for being well-geared, by boosting their vehicle’s power as a result.  It helps well-geared players attempt the hard modes of the fight, while also making the regular modes a bit easier each time, as you gear up through the rest of the instance.

6.  The vehicle ability sets.  Each of the possible roles in the fight, comes with a limited set of only 3 main abilities.  Makes it much easier for newcomers to just hop into a run for the first time, without them feeling overwhelmed by too many complicated options.  And yet, even with only three abilities, they remain quite FUN to use.

5.  Variety.  Between the different vehicles, different roles on those vehicles, and the non-vehicle role of Turret DPSer, you essentially have 6 different options for what your job is, in any given fight.  That’s what I call variety, essentially making it so that you never get tired of running it, cause there’s always something different you could do, next time.

4.  The core mechanics.  I love how the core mechanics of the fight, even though they happen on vehicles, are relatable to things that come up in standard boss fights.  Things like kiting a boss around without letting him touch you, disabling a boss and going into a burn phase, deadly spells that need to be interrupted promptly – it’s cool how these are similar to concepts that the average raider already knows well, while also being just different enough to feel unique.

3.  The “Rescuer” role.  Now here’s something that actually is completely unique.  The task of driving into harm’s way on the Chopper, to pick up a Turret-DPSer and bring them back to their Demolisher, is one of my favorite new mechanics in this fight.  Why?  Because to my knowledge, it’s completely and utterly NEW.  In no other fight in the game, will you have something similar to that.  I mean, picture a battle where raid members are suddenly stunned and vulnerable, knocked out on the floor.  Then, some designated raid members have to stop dps, to run up to the stunned player, pick them up and carry them out of harm’s way, until they get back to their senses and can continue to fight.  That’s not a traditional tank, healing or dps role – it’s something pretty original and cool.  I personally love it, and the flavor it brings to the fight.

2.  The groups-within-the-group.  I like how when you run the fight with 10 players, not everybody gets a vehicle.  Ten vehicles running around with similar abilities would feel too bland, not all that different from Malygos Phase 3 or something like that.  Here, instead, you have people being paired up into subsets.  You have the coordination between driver and gunner on some vehicles, or the communication needed between a Chopper driver and the Turret-DPSer he or she is assigned to pick up.  Players being paired up into those smaller “teams” enhances the special flavor of the fight, in my eyes.

1. And the thing I love most about Flame Leviathan…  The actual story behind it.  So many raids have you simply walking through the front door of the instance, completely and utterly unguarded from the outside.  Sure, you’ll face swarms of trash packs inside the places, but it’s still somehow wrong that you can just walk into the lobby of Karazhan, Naxxramas or any other place, and pretty much throw a dance party there, without attracting the attention of any guards.  It’s fine for getting your group set up inside the place, but it detracts from the story and realism.  Yet here, you literally have to use siege vehicles and mount an epic offensive, blasting your way through a veritable legion of guards outside the Ulduar instance, before getting to the front door and bursting through it.  Then just when you think you’ve successfully made it to the gate safely, the boss comes crashing through the gate, ready to destroy you with turrets firing in every single direction.  Now THAT is a battle with a large scope, and an epic feel.  Makes you truly feel like this assault on Ulduar is a big event – you aren’t just sneaking into a big instance this time around, you’re bashing down the doors and taking on anything in your path.  That’s what I call great storytelling, to really set the pace for the rest of the raid.

So there you are – my Top 10 things I like about the Flame Leviathan fight.

Hopefully all of you get to experience it sometime soon – and hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.  Because in my eyes, Blizzard hit a homerun on this one.

Can’t wait to get a better look at what lies inside Ulduar, next.


Noblegarden Experience

Asshattery, QQ’s, rudeness flocked the servers when The Noblegarden became active.

Well that is what I heard.

When I began my quest to obtain “the Noble” title I did not come across those individuals. Don’t get me wrong I had a few ninja some eggs and I saw some amusing general chat. “Dude, stop stealing my eggs!!” “ This is my spawn point.” yadda yadda yadda. But I kept to myself and nothing really happened. It was quite peaceful.

After circle the Falconsquare a few time collecting eggs, I found nice egg spawn area by the repair guy’s cart which spawned 1-4 eggs around the cart. If other players grabbed the eggs before me I knew they would respawn quickly which is probably why there was not much QQ when I was on. Of course things change as the day goes on.
I farmed the spot for two hours. I managed to get the Elegant Dress, the Suit (pants 3x and shirt 2x), the rabbit (2x), the robe (2x) and 160 chocolate pieces. This allowed me to only spend chocolate on the flowers and the Easter egg to complete the Noblegarden achievements. The RNG worked in my favor. Got to love that.

Then the last hour the RNG worked in a different way. A female dwarf would not drop on my server.

I spent walking, running, riding throughout Daralan looking for a female dwarf to give bunny ears. I even camped the alliance inn waiting for a female dwarf to walk out. I could not find one until I ventured to the mailbox by the flight master. There I saw a female dwarf. I quickly gave her bunny ears and I completed the achievement.

After 4 hours flying to various locations, farming Easter eggs, and searching for a female dwarf I am now Immune the Noble.



One thing I found out about the Argent Tournament…

…I am horrible at jousting.


Goodbye Raid PUGs?

Prior to Patch 3.1, it seemed that just about anything in the game could be pugged.

For myself, that was a blessing.  Our guild is more casual in nature, and limits its raids to the 10-man stuff.  We don’t plow through content, but we see enough success to keep us happy.

Yet, from time to time, I get that itch to run a 25-man.  Why?  Part of it is curiosity, to see the fight from a different perspective.  Part of it is the chance of perhaps getting the occasional gear drop that is superior to the 10-man stuff I’m used to.  Part of it is also the achievement-junkie in me, who likes to add the occasional Heroic raid achievement to my ever-growing list of accomplishments.

Before, this plan always worked out well.  I’ve pugged Vault25, OS25, Naxx25, all with pretty good success.

Since the introduction of new content in the patch, though, I’m beginning to wonder if my days of Raid Pugging are nearing an end…

A couple of examples from the past week:

Emalon the Storm Watcher

Used to be that you could complete a Wintergrasp fight, hop into the first 25-man Vault group being formed, and expect to get Archavon down without much trouble.  Some DPS-ers might be slacking, but the better ones in the group could pick up the slack.

Well, Emalon has now put an end to that approach.

I tried pugging this one a couple of nights back.  And we didn’t even get to the boss at first – we wiped on TRASH.  Regroup and go back in, get to the boss…  And wow, did the DPS discrepancy show, this time around.  Even with everyone knowing the fight pretty well (the leader did a good job of explaining it – myself already knowing the strat) – the DPS in that pugged group were just not capable of switching to the proper add fast enough, or generating enough damage to take it down in the time required.

Basically, with the fight being such a DPS race, we were doomed from the start, by undergeared players who thought that they could just hop in for the run, without having the gear for it.

And then there was last night…

Flame Leviathan

I got invited to a Flame Levi pug, which included a handful of people I’d run with before, in Naxx and such.  Many of the other names were new to me, though.

And let me tell you, the performance was pretty sad, for the most part.  Again, many of these people were clearly undergeared for the run – vehicle health is based on the driver’s gear iLevel, and some were quite low.  But even that aside, there was just no coordination from half the players, who seemed to have thrown logic out the door when placed inside a vehicle, for a change.  Common sense things in a normal run, like “Don’t stand in front of the boss” and “Use interrupts on big spells” were just ignored or overlooked, by almost everybody.  It’s like entering the vehicle made them forget that they were in a 25-man raid, and they thought it was just a Wintergrasp Pew-Pew Fest.  Which, given how easy the Flame Leviathan fight actually is…  was pretty sad to see.

So yeah, with all this in mind…  How do I feel about pugging raids now?

I think I may take a break from them. 😛

I mean, sure, this is only week one.  Maybe some people didn’t realize what they were getting into.  Perhaps in a month’s time, Emalon and Flame Levi pugs will be more coordinated, and the raid leader will look some people’s gear up, before sending out the invites.  Could definitely be that in the rush to see the new stuff, people are signing up for runs they have no business being in.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these bosses being a bit more pug-friendly in the future, even if I doubt the majority of Ulduar could be handled by the average pug group.

But personally, I think I’m going to stick to my guild 10-mans for the next little while.  Not sure if I can afford all the extra repair bills…

Anyone else have better luck pugging either of these bosses this week?


Hey there everyone!

Just to quickly introduce myself, I’m a guildmate of Salud / Immune, both of us being officers for the <Initech> guild, on the Cairne realm.  With our guild running 10-mans exclusively, we often find ourselves as the two raiding tanks, coincidentally both being Prot Pallies.

And with us having Naxx10 under our belts already, we’re looking forward to dipping our feet into 10-man Ulduar soon, so I should be able to offer some thoughts and insight into what I think of those fights, from a paladin main tank’s point of view.

So yup, I’m happy to be joining the site and look forward to posting thoughts here on a regular basis.


The Holy Light is Growing

I’ve added a new blogger to the Holy Light to provide a different insight about the Paladin Class and anything else he inclines.

His name is Anzak.

Everyone welcome him to the bosom of The Holy Light.

Dual Spec

Leykis Wrote

”Any insight on what the dual-spec thing is? I’ve been trying to find info on it but I am apparently the last to know!”

There are plenty of websites to find that information but I found one sight that goes into a lot of detail from the basic information to the latest updates. Check it out Wow Insider’s Dual Spec Guide, it is a good read.

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