Friday, August 28, 2009

Healing Heroic ToC, a guide.

I'm sure this guide is a little late, since most everyone has gotten their fill of ToC by now but here goes anyway.

Phase one: Dumb. Hate it. The only redeeming quality is it is pretty quick. Don't bother buffing before you mount up as it doesn't matter anyway, and most groups run out of the instance to reset it before engaging the 3 bosses. The biggest advice I have for you here is make sure someone is on trample duty, and running down the dismounted bosses before the remount. If you do not do this you will have to knock the bosses off their mounts until you have them all down at the same time. Also make sure you pick a target and kill it as a group. Makes things much faster.

Once the bosses are all dismounted run out of the arena so the bosses reset and you can control aggro from the start. Makes things so much easier. You need to establish a kill order and stick to it. These bosses hit pretty hard, have some nasty AOE and if you don't focus fire and follow the tanks lead you will not make it.

You will get a random mix of any of the three classes Warrior, Mage, Shaman, Hunter or Rogue. Basically here if you get the Shaman, kill him first, or he heals everyone else then Warrior. The other three classes are a piece of cake, and kill order doesn't really matter. Then there is the ever important "DON'T STAND IN THE POOLS OF DEATH". Other than that this encounter is a piece of cake.

The second boss is very much a loot pinata. You will get one of two bosses Eadric the Pure Argent Confessor Paleteress. Eadric is basically tank-n-spank. If you are healing turn your back on the boss or you will get stunned. The magic of being a healer is you do not have to be looking at your target to heal, so there is no reason to ever get caught in the stun. Paleteress, is a little harder (it is all relative) when she hits 25% she will summon a previous boss you have fought. But they are all the same. They have an AOE fear, tremor totem FTW! When the add is dead, engage Paleteress again, kill her.

The Instance is done.

But wait! It is the Black Knight come to crash the party, you are not done yet!

The Black Knight has three phases. Phase one, basic tank-n-spank with one ghoul add, the former arena announcer. As the healer I often kill the add while the rest of the DPS is working on the Black knight. He doesn't hit very hard on this phase and Earth Shield and Riptide should be enough to keep the rest of the party alive while you deal with the ghoul.

Phase two, he is dead, and pissed. He pope Army of the Dead at the start of this phase, and uses Corpse Explosion on all the ghouls you kill. This phase can be tricks. Make sure you stack on the tank so he can get aggro on all the adds, then move out and kill the adds one at a time and move before they explode. Also try to keep out of the Death and Decay. Once all the adds are down, the Black Knight should be almost dead.

Phase three, he is really dead now, and really pissed. To be honest I do not really know what he does here. I have always spent phase three running around like a three year old kid amped up on redbull and vodka casting Chain Heal, Riptide and generally trying not to die.

After that you have spent about 30 minutes, collected three emblems of conquest and hopefully five pieces of epic loot that won't be sharded!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Should I be offended?

Over the weekend I hopped on early Sunday morning while the house was quiet, the wife and kid were sleeping and I could get some uninterrupted WoW quality time. I did a few of the daily's that I still do, like the fishing, cooking and a few tournament ones. Then hopped in the LFG channel while in Dalaran.

I was chatting whit some friends and futzing around when I see LF Healer H ToC then GtG, and others. I think "I'm a healer, I haven't done ToC or others. They are looking for me!

I send a tell, stating as much.

He responds I'm at the north bank, come here I want to inspect you before we invite you.

I want to preface this next paragraph with a bit of a disclamer...I am not a ginormous epeen, nor do I have a giant ego. I run a lot of PuGs. I think running PuGs is one of the best way to learn your class, because there are not that many "oh Shit!" moments in guild runs and raids, as if you are raiding you probably know what you are doing.

I was kind of taken aback! I understand that on a server you can't possibly know every level 80. But I like to think I have kind made a name for myself as an extremely competent healer. Nine times out of ten when joining a PuG I know at least 1 other member. I run A LOT of PuGs I love them. I run them whenever I do not have something going on in guild. But i was kind of offended when he wanted to inspect me just to join his PuG.

I responded "I am geared to heal (or DPS for that matter) any encounter we could possibly see today up to and including Ulduar. I am not going to waste my time or your time for a parade of my gear. If you need a healer I am available otherwise I will go back to my daily's.

I guess he had a discussion with his group and a few minutes later I got an invite. We went on to one shot ToC, HoL and even Occulus (which I hate btw). The group was fun we cleared 3 heroics in just over an hour and a half. With only the occasional death and no wipes.

So the question is I guess. Should I be offended, or am I the ass hole for not cooperating and showing off my gear before the run?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Impossible Achievements

Hello everybody, my name is Skraps and I'm an Achievement Whore. There I have said it. it is the first step in the road to recovery. Even thought I love the achievements and i love seeing them flash on my screen there are plenty of other people with more than me. My problem lies in the fact that when one achievement pops up, I have the compulsive need to complete all other related achievements until I get the title, reward, tabard, or pet associated with it.

As I was perusing the achievement list this morning I came across one that I think must be the most difficult achievement in the game. Incredibly difficult in 25 man, and I'm pretty sure impossible in 10 man.

Earth, Wind & Fire.

How in the hell can that achievement be done?

Blizzcon 2009

I was unable to get myself tickets for Blizzcon this year. I did like the new ticket que system, I think it was a little more fair than last year. I did not get tickets on the first Saturday, and forgot the second Saturday, so I guess that is my bad.

In lieu of going to Blizzcon this year, I choose to buy the Direct TV stream. I am at work all day today, the boss is out at training, and I finished all my pressing projects. I am going to go hide in the server room and watch the stream from one of the servers that I am "Performing maintenance" on.

For all of you out there that got tickets and are going, enjoy the show. If you get close enough, stare creepily at Felicia Day for me. As I think I would seriously consider leaving my wife if she gave me the chance, and I'm pretty sure my wife would be ok with that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Have you seen my face?

Because Green Day rocked it off last night! As I said before I am not a huge Green Day fan, but after last night they have climbed up the ladder quite a few rungs. Now in my younger days I went to shows almost every weekend, and growing up in the Bay Area I had the opportunity to see a young Green Day, as well as a lot of other post punk bands. I have seen well over 100 bands come through the Bay Area, and this may be the best show I have ever been to. The set list built on itself quite well. They started off rocking and kept it up for just over 3 hours.

Memorable moments were:

1. The 9 year old kid brought on stage from the pit for a evangelical revival during East Jesus Nowhere

2. The high school girl brought on stage to sing Longview while Billy Joe played. This girl, aside from being really nervous rocked.

3. (Quite possibly my all time favorite rock show memory) Started by Billy Joe asking who in the crowd can play guitar, then when he found someone "Can you play Jesus of Suburbia?" You better be able to...cause if you can't we are going to kick your ass!" Well the kid could play it, and he rocked it like he has been playing with Green Day since he was 5!

I am not sure how many more shows they have on this tour, I do know they are playing in Sacramento next week. If you can see them, make the effort, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Green Day Tonight.

Yesterday was my son's first day of high school, yup I'm getting old. To celebrate my aging status I managed to score two tickets to tonight's Green Day show in San Jose, CA. Now I like Green Day, and I think American Idiot is by far the best album (see I'm old, they are still called albums) of the decade. But Green Day is my son's favorite band, like he has been rockin the green day on his CD player/iPod nano since he was 6. I am picking him up from school in about 20 minutes, and taking him to the show. It is a surprise, and he is completely unaware of the fact that I have tickets. Am I a good dad or what?

And now for your listening pleasure...GREEN DAY!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Looking for an artist.

Well I think I have reached that point where I think it is time to do something dramatic. I am tired of the plain default blogger heading. I am looking for an artist that can do a full color image for my to head my blog. Something in a banner format with my Orc Shaman on the left and Troll hunter on the right. Personal tastes lean closer to comic bookie over anime. Not sure what the going rate for something like this would be, but i am willing to pay as well as put a perma-link to the artists work in my side bar. If you are interested or know an artist that may be interested please drop be an email with samples, I will send screen shots of both Shaman and Hunter for reference. Send emails to johnthediver at


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Goblins and Worgen are Red Herrings

I have numerous undisclosed sources at Blizzard who have told me this super double secret bit of information about the coming expansion announcement at BlizzCon.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm there will be only one new race. The new race will be faction neutral. You will choose weather you are horde or alliance at the character creation screen. That is why Blizzard is allowing faction switching in the near future.

The new race has yet to be announced, but will shock and amaze all players of WoW. Many people have been asking for this race for years, and everyone will be surprised to see it. There will also be a new class available to this race only. It is a unique class suited solely to this race.

Oh by the way, the new race/class will be Pandaren Monk. A hybrid Melee/Caster class wearing cloth armor with melee combat similar to a rogue, and nature casting similar to a druid.
Oh and the super secret source inside Blizzard is none other than... my imagination!

Monday, August 10, 2009

God I love Penny Arcade.

A quote from Gabe over at Penny Arcade today.

"Do you really think the mind games girls play on guys are any better or worse than this stuff. The only difference is that this sort of thing comes naturally to women. Guys are in a tight spot because in very real terms, we have nothing they want. They on the other hand, have vaginas. They can make us do pretty much what ever they want."

The man could not be more correct in his assertion. If you do not read Penny Arcade I strongly suggest you check them out. They write mostly video game centric comics, with a lot of pop-culture and life observations thrown in. Oh also, they did quite a few cartoons on our beloved World of Warcraft.

Here is a particular favorite to introduce those of you who have somehow missed Penny Arcade.

Trial of the Champion is a Biatch

Not because it is difficult, not because it is boring but because I can't seem to get a competent group together to get it done.

I have attempted to do it everyday since it has been released and for some reason can't get a guild run together. Admittedly I have been signing on later than normal and most of my friends have done it for the day, therefore I am forced to PuG it.

In the last week I have Pug'ed it with a warrior tank, with 29k health. Silly me thought this would be enough. Turns out having a high health pool, and epics in every slot doesn't mean the guy can tank. I never once saw any semblance of AOE aggro abilities, and after my first heal i was killed by the two mobs not actively being tanked.

A druid tank that seemed to know what he was doing, we made it through the jousting, the first boss after that, then the tank couldn't stay connected for more than 30 seconds at a time. Not his fault, but still doomed the run.

Tried a DK tank, turned out he was a fresh 80, and not even defense capped. That one was particularly bad. Tried every friend and guild I had earned karma points with over the last year healing, and just couldn't get it done.

I have decided the WoW gods do not want me to do ToC, and I have decided I will give up trying until I can gut a guild tank and 3 guild DPS.

On the raiding side, I missed every raid this week trying to get my son enrolled in school after his getting expelled for bringing his boy scout swiss army knife to school. But we managed to get him in to the school we wanted him in, but he will have to meet with the principal every week, and discuss his grades etc. It is nice to see a public school principal take that kind of interest in your kid.

This week we should be starting ToC25 and ToC25 heroic. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The joys of working in IT.

Actual email I received today.

Dear Automation:

My number keys on the right-hand side of my keyboard do not work properly. Instead of entering the number I type, it tabs to some other cell. This happens in Word and Excel. Do you have any suggestions for me? I would appreciate your help.

Thanks so much,


P.S. My NumLock key is not on.

How do I answer this question and keep my job?

Am I happy 3.2 drops today?

In a word, no. I was really hoping 3.2 would come out after Blizzcon. I know some people are getting tired of Ulduar and have the whole place on farm and are looking forward to the new content. But me, I would like three more weeks of regular Ulduar raiding. There are still 3 bosses I have not downed yet, and damn it I want to kill them. The guild leader said last week if the patch drops this week we would still do our Ulduar, and give the new raid a week to work out the bugs, but I know we will be in there by Thursday at the latest.

Hopefully after a week or two of Crusaders Coliseum we will start up a regular pug of Ulduar10/25 like we did Naxx after Ulduar dropped. And lets face it, for the OCD in me I would like to complete my 4 piece t8 set before moving on to t9.

Who knew a Ulduar PuG wold work out this well?

Yes that is a Ulduar PuG, or just a random dog pic found on the internet. But hey, it popped up when I did a Google images search of "Ulduar Pug" I felt it was imperative I use it.

Friday night raid something happened. I signed on at 7:00 server a full 30 minutes before raid time and there was already 33 level 80 raiders online. Don't these people have lives? I mean come on who stays home and plays WoW Friday night? Oh right, nevermind.

Well since I showed up "late" i did not get a spot in the raid. Not a big deal really, I had really needed to do chores any way. I parked myself in front of the Dalaran fountain to try and get that stupid achievement. I say in /trade "LFM Ulduar 10, need healz and dps". Now on a night that I had not recently tapped a new keg of homebrew I would have ignored a call like that, I mean really "LF HEALZ"? Heals has no Z, and is probably some 12 year old trying to get into Ulduar when they have no business being there. But as I said, I was a bit "in my cups" as they say, and had a pretty good mellow buzz going and I said "I'm a resto shaman, fairly well geared" The response did not fill me with confidence.

I hopped onto my mount and headed to Ulduar to pick some flowers while waiting to get things going. We headed in to the instance, I found the raid consisted of 6 people from a guilds Ulduar "B" team, and a few people no-showed so they had to pug to get the run going. I was feeling better about the PuG. We got into the raid, and 2 destroyers and a chopper were killed by trash. I felt worse about the run. After that little snafu, we got to FL, and killed him with no problem. Feeling better I am. Got to Razorscale, and wiped 2 times before the raid really got into a groove and downed him.

We then moved onto XT-002 Deconstructor. 1 sot him, and he dropped Enhancement Gear. I was the only Shaman, and there was no hunters. Next up was Kolgarn. 1 shot as well, this raid really came together. After Kolgarn, I realized why I was having mana problems all night, no replenishment in the raid. I now know why Blizzard says it is required for raids now. Every boss fight, I used a potion, mana tide and an innervate.

After Kolgarn we moved on to Auriaya. This fight was a little rocky too, not because it was a difficult fight, but the tank kept dying on the pull. Turns out the tank gets whacked pretty hard by Auriaya, and 2 pounces at the same time on that pull. After we figured out to start the fight with pain suppression, she went down like a hooker on payday. We were going to hit Hodir, but it was starting to get late and some members had to call it. So on our way out we hit Ignis. All in all it was an awesome evening.

Also since I had never really done Ulduar 10 I walked out with a nice collection of achievements, and 3 pieces of Enhancement gear, that I may never use.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oh yes I have got achievements.

In my ongoing quest to get the "Salty" title I have been working on the fishing achievements for some time now. Other than the Stranglethorn Vale Fishing Extravaganza I am at the mercy of the RNG. Over the last week I have spend more than 4 hours after raids trying to fish up Brann Bronzebeards coin from the Dalaran fountian. 1 Freeking coin! well over 4 hours, and Friday night after a totally awesome Ulduar 10 PuG the RNG showed pitty on my soul and gave me the final coin I needed to complete "There is gold in that there fountain" and finally give me "The Coin Master" achievement. That is 10 hours of my life I will never get back. Have I mentioned how much I hate achievements? I am a little OCD, and once one pops up on my screen, I feel it necessary to pick up all related achievements. It is really a drag.