Friday, 20 March 2009

High Five list: Top 5 mobs in Wow with most pathetic lives

Hyakiss the Lurker
Rokad the Ravager
Shadikith the Glider

Those names don't ring a bell? That's because you probably never killed them. They are also known (or unknown) as the animal bosses in Karazhan. With the popularity of Karazhan in TBC, I am sure these are the most skipped bosses in the entire game.
Anything you guys want to say to Blizzard?
Please let us drop badges like the others...

Scarshield Legionnaire
Scarshield Spellbinder

The Scarshield Legionnaires get killed I dont know how many times every raid night, because they guard the Orb of Command a.k.a. the entrance to BWL. The Scarshield Spellbinders live longer than the Legionnaires, just with less dignity! Because they have a very nice fire resistance buff, raiders litterally USE them for that sole purpose.
Anything you guys want to say to Blizzard?
Thank you for introducing TBC...

Ambassador Hellmaw
With the arrival of Wotlk, TBC instances are as good as deserted, but people keep returning to Shadow Labs...alone. The reason is the first boss in SL, Ambassador Hellmaw, a.k.a. weapon skill leveling doll.
Anything you want to say to Blizzard?
Release me!

Deathstalker Vincent
Lets just make one thing clear, this guy cannot not be killed, but people just wont give up, they keep trying. When not being punched, he is just lying on the ground. He is not totally useless though, sometimes people come to test how big they can crit on him.
Anything you want to say to Blizzard?

Tauren is probably the most loved race in Wow, even Alliance doesn't have anything against Taurens. Gamon is the exception, this poor guy is the punching doll of the entire Horde. If you ever see Gamon alive, kill him fast before someone else does it. People actually got bored of just killing him, legend tells about a brave hero of the Horde, who once kited Gamon to Silithus...
Anything you want to say to Blizzard?
Remove me from the game, just do it...

Honorable mentions
Hogger isn't on the list because he's life is not pathetic, it is glorious!

Pindleskin (from Diablo 2)
He is the most killed mob in Diablo2 for the following reasons:
  • he has a chance of drop ANY item in the game, including Zod rune and Windforce.
  • it takes a few seconds to get to him, and a few more seconds to kill him.
People actually developed a Pindleskin farming bot, which is able to automatically and repeatedly kill him once every 15 seconds.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 5: Threat generation

by Flyingfish

Offense wins the crowd
A tank with high threat ensures that the damage dealers seldom get aggro and die, that is why a tank that knows how to generate threat will generally be considered as a good tank. Your ability to generate threat is the most important factor when it comes to your reputation as a tank, understandable, but not completely justified imo. But since this is the general opinion of the people out there, we shall not disappoint them.
A protection paladins threat comes from holy damage modified by Righteous Fury, this leads to the 3 most important rules for paladin tanks:
  • Rule number 1: Don't forget Righteous Fury when tanking.
  • Rule number 2: DO NOT forget Righteous Fury!
  • Rule number 3: NEVER EVER forget Righteous Fury!
After Blessing of Salvation has been removed, your holy damage actually generates 171.7% additional threat when under the influence of RF, so it is a huge deal. Forgetting RF is the most noobish thing a paladin tank can do.
Assuming the 3 rules we talked about before are followed, a paladin tanks threat pretty much comes down to maximizing holy damage, where two numbers play a major role, that is 6 and 9 (no dirty thoughts now :P).

The 96969 rotation
The basic 96969 rotation is about using every global cooldown, and it consists of 5 abilities:
  • Holy Shield (8 sec CD)
  • Judgement (10/9/8 sec CD)
  • Consecration (10/8 sec CD)
  • Shield of Righteousness (6 sec CD)
  • Hammer of the Righteous (6 sec CD)
Where the first 3 abilities are considered 9 sec CD abilities and the last 2 are considered 6 sec CD abilities. The rotation is done by alternating between 9 sec CD abilities and 6 sec CD abilities. Since the global cooldown lasts 1.5 sec, an example of the 96969 rotation will look like this:
time - ability to use
0.0 - Holy Shield (9)
1.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
3.0 - Judgement (9)
4.5 - Hammer of the Righteous (6)
6.0 - Consecration (9)
7.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
9.0 - Holy Shield (9)
10.5 - Hammer of the Righteous (6)
12.0 - Judgement (9)
13.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
15.0 - Consecration (9)
and so on...
If you haven't used this rotation in the past, but want to use it in the future, I suggest that you place these 5 abilities next to each other to make it clear which 1 of the 5 abilities have cooled down, for example like this:
key 1 - Shield of Righteousness
key 2 - Hammer of the Righteous
key 3 - Holy Shield
key 4 - Judgement
key 5 - Consecration
Then all you have to do is alternating between 1/2 and 3/4/5, like: 3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 5...really easy and relaxing.

Maximizing threat output
The 5 abilities in the basic 96969 rotation are not optimal for threat generation, because paladins are blessed with other high damage "optional" abilities like Exorcism, Avenger's Shield and Holy Wrath. But the problem with these abilities are longer cooldowns, so in order to maximize the holy damage output, we have to fit these long CD abilities into our rotation by replacing basic abilties with optional abilties whenever their CDs allow it. The question here is which ability should be replaced. The answer depends on the situation, what I usually do is replacing Judgement and/or Shield of Righteousness with Avenger's Shield and/or Holy Wrath when AOE tanking. And I usually replace Hammer of the Righteous with Exorcism and Avenger's Shield when tanking single targets or bosses. But whatever you do, do NOT replace Judgement when tanking a boss, I have seen some paladin tanks to that, and it is a very bad idea if you ask me, why? Because Judgement reduces your targets melee attack speed by 20%, and you get a buff from Libram of Obstruction, not to mention JoL can be a huge threat boost. But threat from JoL will be (maybe already is?) removed. So let the retribution paladin judge light, because they have the highest attack power + spell power, if there is no retri pally, judge light yourself. It is very important that no other paladin in the party/raid use the same Judgement as you, because Judgements overwrite each other, including the melee attack speed debuff and Heart of the Crusader. I usually do not replace Consecration either, unless running low on mana, because Consecration is a very reliable threat output, every other ability have a chance to miss, Consecration will always hit except for the first tick. Last but not least, you should be using Seal of Corruption/Vengeance most of the time when tanking, Seal of Righteousness is only superior when tanking fast dying mobs.
Next part of my guide is about damage mitigation, but before that, I think I'll rewrite the parts about talents and glyphs as patch 3.1 brings changes to paladin talents as well as new glyphs.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 4: Marking and pulling

by Flyingfish

So the talents have been picked, the glyphs have been bought, what next? Originally I intended to cover itemization first, but then I thought you have to go out and tank before you can get the gear, right? So lets talk about how to play a paladin tank first, it's more fun than numbers anyway.

Marking the targets
Every fight starts with a pull, ideally a non-ninja pull. But prior to the pull, the mobs should always be marked with symbols to ensure everyone knows which target to dps and which to crowd control (CC). To the best of my belief, the preparation of a fight is just as important as the fight itself. When marking targets, you have to make the choice between klling and crowd controlling the most dangerous mobs, this of course requires that you know the mobs. And believe me, people expect the tank to know the mobs, and they expect the tank to mark the targets, so you may as well ask for the leader and take some responsibility. Here are some advice on marking the targets:

  • Announce which mark is what, and try to stick with the setup during the whole run.
  • When (or just before) the skull dies, mark a new skull.
  • Mark the patrols to keep track on them.
  • Mark any group of mobs that you skip.
  • Use macros to mark targets.
  • If you don't know the instance, mobs with mana are generally more dangerous than mobs without.
  • If people keep ninja pulling, mark yourself and tell them to stay behind you. (Don't use the green triangle though, because in China, wearing a green hat means that your partner is cheating on you! And this is not a joke, I just thought I'd share this, since the World of Warcraft servers are filled with chinese people (gold farmers or not, they all know about the green hat) :D)

Pulling the mobs
As a tank, we want all the mobs to focus on us right after the pull, that's why we want to pull the mobs ourself most of the time, we want to pull them at range, and we want to build some threat on all of them. Fortunately we have various tools in our disposal to accomplish that. Avenger's Shield (AS) is our main tool for pulling the mobs, especially when pulling groups of mobs. AS instantly generates a great amount of threat on 3 targets aswell as slowing them, I always try to ensure that the targets my AS will hit and the CC targets are identical, to buy more time for sheeping, trapping and so on. Combined with Exorcism and Judgement, you should be comfortable in front on the threat meter of atleast 4 or 5 mobs, by which time the mobs should be in melee range. Here are some general advice on pulling the mobs:
  • Never pull by walking into the mobs.
  • Cast Holy Shield before you pull, especially before tough fights.
  • Get out of line of sight after the pull will force ranged mobs to come to you.
  • If you are only meant to tank 1 or 2 targets out of a large group, pull with Exorcism.
  • Avenger's Shield will not bounce to CC'ed targets.
  • Hammer of the Righteous will not bounce to CC'ed targets either, BUT if Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is on, and your Hammer of the Righteous lands before the targets are CC'ed, they can't no longer be CC'ed.

After the pull, you should get into a threat generating rotation in order to keep the mobs on you, the next part of my guide will therefore deal with threat generation. But always keep in mind that the preparation of a fight is just as important as the fight itself, think of it as the relation between foreplay and sex :D

Monday, 2 March 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 3: Glyphs

by Flyingfish

A newer version of this part can be found at: Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 2: Talents (Patch 3.1)
Which glyphs to use when tanking?
I feel protection paladin don't have as many choices when it comes to glyphs as for instance protection warriors, meaning a couple of glyphs are decent for us, and the rest are like "meh". The following I will use the same coloring system as I used with talents (see part 2 of my guide), so a glyph name in purple indicates that I think it is very good for tanking, not that the glyph itself is an epic quality item, as all glyphs have common (white) item quality. Remember again, the score is based on my personal experience and opinion only.

Major glyphs
Glyph of Seal of Vengeance
As Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is considered the main tanking seal, this glyph is very good to use when tanking. Note it grants 10 expertise skill, not rating!

Glyph of Righteous Defense
A missed Righteous Defense can have very serious consequences, even though it doesn't occur often. This glyph greatly increases the hit chance of RD, thus almost eliminites wipes caused by a missed taunt. But with the introduction of Hand of Reckoning, we now have two taunt spells, making this glyph less useful.

Glyph of Judgement
10% increase to Judgement damage is not much, but then again we should be using our Judgements whenever they have cooled down.

Glyph of Spiritual Attunement
If you constantly find youself OOM, this glyph can help you. But there are so many other ways to solve mana problems, such as Seal/Judgement of Wisdom, Blessing of Sancturay/Wisdom, Divine Plea and so on, I will not recommand this glyph.

Glyph of Avenger's Shield
I will not recommand this glyph either. It is good if you are only tanking one mob at a time, but that is not our niche. Most of the time, a protection paladin should find him/herself shinning in front of a group of monsters.

Glyph of Seal of Righteousness
The cost of Judgement spells are very cheap, it's simply just not worth a major glyph spot.

Glyph of Consecration
I have seen some tanks with this glyph, I guess they don't use the 96969 rotation, because increasing the cooldown of Consecration to 10 seconds will totally mess up the rotation.

Glyph of Exorcism
Since Exorcism can be cast on all types of enemy targets now, this glyph will give paladins another hard hitting spell interrupting ability with 15 seconds cooldown only, sadly this overpowered combo will be changed in the next patch.

Minor glyphs
Since the buffing should be done out of combat, the three minor glyphs of blessings are pretty much useless. That leave us Glyph of Sense Undead, Glyph of Lay on Hands and Glyph of the Wise, why not use them? They are better than nothing.

Choosing glyphs for a paladin tank is boring, because there is only a few variations. Lets hope Blizzard will give us some new glyphs in the future. I think I'll cover itemization in the next part of this guide, but I'm not sure yet, but stay tuned anyway :)