Archive for June, 2009


A Rogue in Ulduar – Kologarn

This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar.  The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well.  This is not meant to be a general strategy guide.  It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats.  Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.

If you are looking for a more general overall strategy guide, try Bosskillers or StratFu or WoWWiki.


KologarnKologarn is a required boss in Ulduar.  He comes right after Deconstructor.  He’s a little odd to see when you first encounter him.  You don’t often see a boss that is so big that his right and left arms each get their own name above them and each with their own health bar.

You can only see his upper torso.  The rest is below the edge of the ledge that he stands at.  It is possible to fall off the ledge and die during the fight.  Watch how close you get to him.

When you fight Kologarn there is a lot going on.  In general, you’re going to switch targets between the main body of the boss and his right arm.

Important note… if you are facing the torso of Kologarn, you can change target and hit the right arm without turning to face it.  In fact, I found that when I tried to move to face the arm I often found myself out of range somehow.

Even though you are hitting the boss from the front, he does not parry.  So you don’t have to stack expertise (as I originally thought).

The arms do not get tanked.  The main boss will be tanked.  However, the tanks will rotate because Kologarn does an Overhead Smash which applies a stacking debuff that reduces the tank’s armor by 25% per stack.  If you are using TotT to give threat to the tank, watch carefully to see which tank currently has aggro.

Each arm has a different ability.  The left arm does a Shockwave that hits the whole raid with nature damage.  You probably won’t see it coming so there is not much you can do about that.  Most raids ignore the left arm and let raid healing take care of the damage.

The right arm is where you want to pay more attention.  Periodically it will grab someone (it grabs 3 people on 25 man) with Stone Grip.  The person grabbed takes damage every second until he dies, or until 20 seconds has passed.  If healing keeps the Stone Gripped player alive for 20 seconds, then he gets Squeezed Lifeless and dies instantly.

The way to stop this is to dps the arm.  The right arm will drop the person if it takes 100,000 damage (that’s on 10 man – its more on 25 man).  When you see a raid warning, or someone calls out that they have been grabbed, or just when your raid leader tells you to, you should immediately change target to the right arm and start hitting it until it drops the person.  Remember that you don’t have to move or turn.  You can tab-target or make a macro to target the right arm.

The most common raid strategy is to stay focused on the right arm until it dies.  When the arm dies, it shatters.  That means no more Stone Grips until it comes back (in about 45 seconds).  When the arm shatters, the main boss takes a big chunk of damage.  However, a bunch of earth elemental type adds (Rubble) will spawn.  The Rubble needs to be off-tanked and AoE’d down, but this is not a job for rogues.  The Rubble adds do an AoE ability themselves.  If you are in a group of five of them, you can easily be killed by that.  So when the right arm dies, you go back to the main boss and let the casters AoE the adds.  (If your raid needs you to help on the adds, use Evasion to try and avoid some of their AoE damage and see if that keeps you alive.  Even though it hits everyone around them, their Rumble AoE ability counts as a melee attack and can be dodged.)

In my raids, the part we had trouble with was the pickup of the adds.  Communication is the key.  The off tank has to be ready, and anyone with  misdirects or other such abilities have to know when the Rubble adds are coming.  Its important that someone (like you) call out when the right arm is about to die.  You can also help by using TotT on the off-tank and hitting the Rubble adds with a FoK as they spawn.  It does put you in range of the adds’ AoE though, so you want to run out of their range ASAP.  You might pop Evasion as well, although your Evasion won’t be off cooldown the next time it happens.  If you find that you are getting killed by their AoE then either ask for a PW:Shield from a priest or forget about it and leave the misdirects to the hunters.

One more thing – Kologarn has laser eye beams!  These are just like any other “don’t stand in them” type of hazard.  If the eye beams focus on you, RUN.  Don’t run into the main raid group (who should be spread out anyway for this reason).  Run to a corner away from the others, then keep running.  The beams will follow you for ten seconds.  Don’t let them catch you.  And don’t run into the healers.

It sounds complicated.  I have found that on 25-man it is pretty hectic with all of the people crammed into a small space.  On 10-man its not so bad once the off-tank gets the hang of grabbing the adds.

Summary for rogues…

  • DPS boss
  • Target and kill the right arm
  • DPS on the boss while off-tank and caster AoE take care of the adds
  • run away from eye beams
  • Repeat

The 25-man version of the fight is similar.  He grabs three people instead of one with his Stone Grip.  The Rubble adds AoE also adds a stacking debuff, so there is more urgency in taking them down quickly.  The general strategy is the same, though.

When Kologarn dies he falls and become a bridge to get you to the next part of Ulduar.  If that wasn’t enough of a reward, he also has loot!  On 10-man, look for the Shawl of the Shattered Giant as a good dps cloak.  In the 25-man fight, you can get Malice, a very nice sword.  The Shoulderpads of the Monolith are a very sweet should item.  All the dps will be drooling over Wrathstone, though, so get ready to drop some serious DKP.  Oh – if your hunters don’t want it, there is also a gun called Giant’s Bane that is quite nice.


A Rogue in Ulduar – Ignis the Furnace Master

This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar.  The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well.  This is not meant to be a general strategy guide.  It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats.  Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.

If you are looking for a more general overall strategy guide, try Bosskillers or StratFu or WoWWiki.


Ignis_the_Furnace_MasterIgnis is another optional boss in the early part of Ulduar.  Many raids skip him, in part because of the trash leading up to him.  After recent nerfs the trash is not as hard as it once was.

The first trash mobs are the giant Molten Colossus.  They are difficult to heal through because everyone takes damage and they can silence the healers.  For rogues, you can CoS the DoT away after his Pyroblast.  Your tanks will separate them and you can single target dps them down.  Healers will try to use line of sight at the corners to avoid the silence.

The real annoying trash for melee are the Magma Ragers.  They are the air elemental-looking mobs at the bottom of the ramp.  You will see them cast Superheated Winds.  It spawns a tornado that does fire damage and throws you up in the air.  If you are unlucky, you can get trapped between the tornado and the wall and take multiple hits from it, most likely killing you.  Try to stay away from the wall if possible.  Run from the fiery tornados – they will follow people so they can be avoided.

The other trash mobs – Forge Construct – is not a big deal.   The raid needs to group up on them to avoid a charge, but as melee you’ll be right on them anyway.

Then you’re at Ignis.  He’s a big guy with a fanny pack.  OK, its not a fanny pack.  Its a heated cauldron of molten metal.  Crotch pot.  Whatever.

This fight takes quite a bit of movement.  The tank will hold Ignis until he Scorches an area in front of him, creating a large area on the ground that does fire damage to anyone that stands there.  The tank will move Ignis to a new location and hold him there.  He will scorch the ground again, and the tank will move him.  You just keep following behind him, dpsing all the while, and avoid the scorched areas.

While this is going on there are lots of other things happening that you have no part of.  Adds will spawn.  An off-tank will be dragging them into the scorched area until they become Molten, and then moving them into the water so they become Brittle.  When that happens, a ranged class will one-shot them.  Don’t volunteer for that. When they blow up they do damage.  Make sure you are not near them when they die.  In fact, you can probably ignore that entire process and focus on Ignis.

One way you can help is if the off-tank has trouble picking up an add.  You can TotT to help direct it to the off tank.  It shouldn’t be needed, though.  An alert tank will be able to taunt the adds as they spawn.

Every so often Ignis will grab a raid member and drop him into the crotch cauldron.  It can’t be avoided.  That person will take damage and needs heals.  When its your turn to be in the pot, you can’t melee him, but it turns out that you can FoK to hit him until he drops you.  So sit there, call out for healing, get healed (hopefully), and spam FoK a few times.

As a neat side effect, when you are dropped out of the crotch pot you will have a haste buff for ten seconds.  Take advantage of that by using some cooldowns during that time if you have any available.  In addition, when another dps class survives a turn in the crotch pot you can TotT them to give them a damage buff during their haste boost (as long as their threat is not too high).

Ignis also has an ability called Flame Jets.  You’ll see the raid warning and then you will shoot up in the air and take some fire damage.  When you land you’ll have a fire DoT on you that you can Cloak out of to help your raid healers.  Flame Jets is a big concern for casters because it silences them if it hits mid-cast.  Rogues don’t have that to worry about, either.

When you’re not in the pot, and you have no role in handling adds, you are just following the boss around doing lots of damage.  Stay out of the scorched areas.  That’s it.  This fight is complicated for the off tank, and rough on healers, but easy on melee dps.

The 25-man version isn’t any different.  More adds, more damage, etc, but the mechanics are the same.

A lucky rogue can grab the Gloves of Smoldering Touch from 10-man Ignis.  There’s a nice gun too, the Rifle of the Platinum Guard, but your hunters will want that before you.

The 25-man version can get you the Cindershard Ring or Flamestalker Boots (probably the best boots other than a rare LW crafted item).


I’m Still Here

Oops – I went a whole week without posting.  I was out of town last week, and when I got back the days just got away from me.  I spent a lot of time in game, during which time I am not blogging.

Here’s what I did this week:

  • Defeated Mimiron for the first time and got to make some attempts at General Vezax in 10-man Ulduar.  He’s a tough bug.
  • Finished the tedious Midsummer Festival quests.
  • Finally got around to finishing with the Argent Tournament.
  • Helped my wife get two more vanity pets, one more from the Argent Tournament and one from Ahune.  Now she has 73.
  • Did about 25 2v2 arena matches with a ret pally friend, winning 6 of them, I think.  Very frustrating.  I was using a raid spec and gear with very little resilience, but I was just trying it out to see if it is worth my time to invest in pvp gear and dual spec.  It wasn’t much fun, but I have little else to do in the game right now other than level another alt or learn pvp.

We took a week off from raiding to refresh ourselves.  Hopefully next week we can get back to Vezax for another go. Our problem is that we have limited raiding time.  It took us 5 nights of raiding to get to Vezax.  Usually we don’t raid that much unless we have a goal that we are all determined to reach.

I’ll have more Ulduar guides next week as well.


A Rogue in Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor

This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar.  The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well.  This is not meant to be a general strategy guide.  It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats.  Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.

If you are looking for a more general overall strategy guide, try Bosskillers or StratFu or WoWWiki.


deconstructorDeconstructor is a non-optional boss.  Its a fight that seems like it was made for rogues.  We get to use a number of our abilities here.  The boss is not moving, so most of the time it is a stand-still-and-stab-like-crazy fight.  We like those.

The first obstacle you have to overcome on your initial attempt of this boss is the pull.  Its not a hard pull, but when you hear his voice for the first time you are likely to fall out of your chair laughing, and then you’ll die from being afk. 

OK that was a joke.  The pull is easy.  However, make sure you know in advance where the tank plans to position the boss.  Its nice to be in position so that the tank is in range of TotT when you start dps.  If he is positioned off to one side of the room then adds only spawn from the far junk piles, which is helpful.

After the initial pull you get behind the boss and start your dps cycle.  You should be able to maintain a steady cycle without much difficulty here.  Save your cooldowns, though.   If the tank is far ahead in threat, use your TotT on other dps when it is off cooldown to increase overall raid damage.  There is an enrage timer so you want to maximum damage output.

There are a couple of things to watch out for during this phase:

  • Light Bomb – this puts a DoT on you and also damages anyone standing around you.  You can (and should) CoS out of this immediately.  If your CoS is on cooldown, you need to run away from the raid, but not so far that you are out of healing range.
  • Gravity Bomb – this doesn’t have a DoT, but when it goes off (after 9 seconds) it sucks everyone around you together, and then hits the group for a big chunk of damage (11k+).  You can Cloak out of this also.  However, it might be better to save your cloak for the Light Bombs and simply run out of range for Gravity Bombs.  In particular, make sure you are far from the tank when it goes off.

In a 25 man raid you only have a 1 in 25 chance of getting either a Light Bomb or Gravity Bomb each time one is applied.  Since you get Bombs less often, you can probably feel safe to Cloak out of either type of Bomb and hope that you don’t get another one too quickly.  In 10-man you are likely to get targeted more often so you might save your Cloaks for the Light Bomb.  In any case, try to spread at least 5 yards apart from other melee so that the Light Bombs don’t devastate the melee group if someone has slow reactions.

Periodically he will start pounding the ground, called Tympanic Tantrum.  The whole raid will take a bunch of damage here – 80% of their maximum health.  Rogues should help their healers out by using Feint to reduce their damage by half. 

At 75%, 50%, and 25% health he will power down and two things will happen.  Number one is that his heart will be exposed.  Number two is that a bunch of adds will get summoned.  Rogues are mainly concerned with the heart, which falls right at his feet.

It can be tricky to target sometimes.  You might consider making a macro to target it.  Go insane dpsing the heart.  Pop your cooldowns.  All damage taken by the heart will be doubled and passed on to the boss.  This phase is the key to the fight.

The heart has 1.5 million health (7 million in heroic).  Unless your raid is extremely well geared you aren’t going to do that much damage to it in 20 seconds.  However, if you do manage to “kill” the heart, then Deconstructor goes into Hard Mode, gets healed back to full + 50% health, and hits harder, all without resetting the enrage timer.   Make sure you don’t do that without knowing the consequences.

While you were hitting the heart in phase two, there were three kinds of adds that spawned.  Generally, ranged classes take them out so you don’t worry about them.  Once the boss wakes up and the heart goes away, the fight returns to phase one, with the Light and Gravity Bombs and Tympanic Tatntrums.  Before you start back on the boss, you can look to see if the adds need any extra dps to clean up.

  • Ignore the Pummelers.  They get off-tanked.
  • Stay away from the Boombots.  When they get to 50% health they explode.  Keep out of melee range. 
  • The Scrapbots are what you want to look out for.  If they reach the boss they heal him for 60k health (much like the Zombie Chow at Gluth).  They travel in packs.  If they are getting close to the boss, a couple of FoK can be very useful to wipe them out.  They can be stunned and CC’ed, but its just as easy to kill them.

During this, don’t forget to watch for Light and Gravity Bombs and be ready to Feint when he does Tympanic Tantrum.  When the adds are under control, get back on the boss and go nuts.

If you do a lot of damage to the heart, then you can get to the next exposed heart phase very quickly.  In fact, if your raid has excellent dps you can almost jump from one heart phase to the next without spending a lot of time dodging the bombs and tantrums.  This is the secret to getting through this fight with a minimum of stress. 

Oh, did I mention that he has an enrage timer?  Ten minutes.  So don’t slack off at any point.  Keep your TotT on someone whenever it is available to boost dps.  This is a great fight for rogues to put up big, big dps numbers.

When he dies on normal mode he can drop the creepy Treacherous Shoulderpads.  On heroic mode he has the Golem-Shard Sticker, which is a very nice dagger.  So, not too much rogue loot, but those are nice pieces.


Patch 3.2 /yawn

The patch notes are out for the PTR for 3.2.  As always, test realm patch notes are subject to change.  And also “as always” the rogue section is only about 3 lines long.

I can sum up the whole thing in a couple of lines:

  • we get to use 1-handed axes
  • Sword Specialization talent changed to Hack and Slash to include both swords and axes
  • Shadow Dance cooldown reduced to 1 minute, but duration reduced to 6 seconds

That’s it.  And the first two changes are really one change.  I take the lack of changes to mean that rogues are where we are supposed to be.  I like to think that we are the standard by which other dps classes are measured, and the changes to other classes are meant to bring them in line with us.  Or maybe I’m completely off-base.

So how many one-handed axes are there that are itemized for rogues?  The answer… not many.  A quick search of Wowhead turned up only the various PvP Gladiator axes and Touch of Madness which drops from 10-man Yogg-Saron, and a couple of blue iLvL 200 axes as well.    So presumably there will be some 1h axes drops in the new raid that’s coming.  Or maybe there won’t be and this is just for PvP rogues.  Was there a big demand for rogues to use axes?

I can’t comment on the Shadow Dance change since I don’t play subtlety.  It seems just to be another nerf to rogue burst damage potential in PvP.

Other rogue-related changes:

  • Glyph of Shadow Dance weakened, now increasing duration by only 2 seconds.  (So now a glyphed shadow dance is going from 14 seconds down to 8 seconds, but with a 1 minute cooldown.  That’s a big change)
  • Glyph of Tricks of the Trade changed to increased the duration rather than the damage bonus.
  • Rogues can use Shadowstep during the illusion phases of the Yogg-Saron fight

Lets keep our eyes open for more changes.


A Rogue in Ulduar – Razorscale

This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar.  The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well.  This is not meant to be a general strategy guide.  It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats.  Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.

If you are looking for a more general overall strategy guide, try Bosskillers or StratFu or WoWWiki.


razorscaleRazorscale is an optional boss.  You can walk right by and ignore her.  She’s not so tough, though, so I recommend trying her.  AoE dps is helpful for the first 50% of this fight (rogues can do that) and single target dps for the second half (we can do that, too).

Step one – stay out of the blue fire.  Thats easy in phase 1, a little harder in phase 2.  Don’t try and do anything fancy with it – just avoid it.  You will be hit by it on occasion since it is targeted.  Just react quickly and move.

Phase 1 is mostly about fighting trash mobs.  They spawn out of the drilling machines that come up from the ground.  There are three kinds of adds.  You need to keep a particular eye out for two of them.

Dark Rune Sentinels are obvious.  They are huge viking-looking guys.  Avoid them.  Their whirlwind can one-shot rogues.  Let a tank hold it while ranged dps burns it down.  I know that it hurts to let those ranged get a chance at your dps, but its for the best.  If a tank is holding a Sentinel, go see what the other tank is doing.  If the adds are all being grouped up for AoE, then you can go in and do some damage as long as you are ready to hit Evasion fast if you see him Whirlwind. 

The one you want to make a beeline for is the Dark Rune Watcher.  He’s a nasty little dwarf-sized guy.  His Chain Lightning can do a lot of hurt on a bunch of players, so you want to interrupt that every time.  Stun, Blind, Kick… whatever.  DPS them down fast.  If you are getting splash heals from the raid healers then you may be able solo one of them with a little stunlocking to avoid taking too much damage.

The other trash mobs – Dark Rune Guardians – are unimportant.  Pop a few FoK to help clear them out.

While you’re doing all of that, someone in the back of the raid is activating harpoons to pull Razorscale down to the ground.  You’ll see raid warnings announcing it.  When Razorscale comes to the ground, use your Tricks of the Trade to send your threat to the tank so that you can go all-out dps without pulling aggro.  Make sure you choose the right tank – the off-tank may still be holding adds while the raid goes after Razorscale.

Hit Razorscale with all that you have.  Pop your cooldowns.  The goal is to get Razorscale down to 50% health before she goes back in the air.  Unless you’re very very well-geared you won’t do that on her first time on the ground.  After a few seconds she’ll throw everyone off, fly back up in the air, and then you’re on trash again until the harpoons pull her back down.

Once Razorscale gets down to 50% health the adds will stop spawning and you enter phase 2.  The dragon stays on the ground for the rest of the fight.  Help clean up the remaining adds then go to Razorscale.  The tanks will be taunting her back and forth, so be careful with threat and don’t use TotT on a tank if its not their turn to hold aggro.  Also, they will be kiting her around.  You’ll stay behind her or just off to the side.  No tail swipes here, but she does leave pools of blue fire which you have to avoid.  I like to stay at her side and strafe.  Just don’t get in front of her.  As long as the tanks do their job, you’ll just follow her around and stabbity-stab her.

If you see the Flame Buffet debuff stacking on you, you can CoS out of it.  But its not a big problem if you’re staying out of the fire.

She dies.  Screenshot.  Everyone is happy.  Except Thorim of course.  The heroic version of the fight isn’t much different. 

On normal mode you’re looking for Treads of the Invader to drop.  Great boots.  Combat rogues might like to see the Razorscale Talon.  And all dps would like a ring such as the Band of Draconic Guile.

On heroic mode you might get a shot at the Proto-Hide Leggings.  Also, Remorse is nice if you’re in need of a fast sword.


A Rogue in Ulduar – Flame Leviathan

This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar.  The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well.  This is not meant to be a general strategy guide.  It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats.  Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.

If you are looking for a more general overall strategy guide, try Bosskillers or StratFu or WoWWiki.


flameleviathanFlame Leviathan is the first boss in Ulduar.  He is generally considered easy if you are not attempting one of the hard modes.  The entire lead-up to the fight and the majority of the boss fight itself are done in vehicles.  You won’t get to use any of your rogue-y abilities at all!

So why write a rogue guide for the boss?

There are certain roles that might appeal to rogues.  Particular vehicles are good for the rogue mindset.

The three vehicles are the Siege Engine, the Demolisher, and the Chopper.  The Siege Engine and the Demolisher also have seats for gunners.  So you have the option of five different roles in this fight.

Let me clearly state that any class can do any of these roles.  The only caveat to that is that the gunner in the demolisher should probably be ranged dps since they will get launched onto Flame Leviathan.  However, melee dps can do this as well.

The roles:

  • Siege Engine Driver:  follow right behind the boss as he moves (sounds rogue-ish).  Ram him from behind (hmmm).  Use Electroshock to interrupt his Flame Vents cast (like Kick).  Turn and use a speed burst to get away when he targets you (Sprint!).
  • Siege Enginer Gunner:  pure dps… fire Anti-Air Rockets to shoot down flyhing targets.  Fire the Steam Cannon at the boss to do tons of damage.  Use the Shield Generator (like a bubble) to protect the Engine.
  • Demolisher Driver: follow farther behind the boss and Hurl Boulders and Pyrite Barrels to dps the boss.  Turn and run when the boss targets you.  Periodically Launch your gunner onto the boss (you do have to aim – don’t miss).
  • Demolisher Gunner:  use Anti-Air Rockets to shoot down flying targets.  Fire mortars at the boss for good damage.  Pick up Pyrite Barrels for fuel.  Give your vehicle a Speed Burst if needed to get away from Flame Leviathan.  Load yourself into the catapult to be launched onto Flame Leviathan, where you will dps the turrets until they are destroyed.  Ranged dps is better for this since they can target both turrets.  Melee can only target the turret they are standing on.  Still, as long as you launch two people (and they don’t miss) melee can be effective.
  • Chopper Driver:  put down tar in front of the boss.  Do small amounts of damage with your Sonic Horn.  Pick up people who are not in a vehicle and heal them before bringing them someplace to get into a gunner’s seat.  This is particularly important when the people who dps the turrets get thrown to the ground.

As you can see, the role that is most rogue-like is the Siege Engine driver.  You dps the boss from right behind, interrupt his casts, and sprint away if he targets you.  A Demolisher driver is a pure dps role as well, but from range so it feels more hunter-y than rogue-y.  A Siege Enginer gunner does a heck of a lot of damage, but that’s basically all they do.

Again, anyone can do any role and I encourage you to try them allI enjoy the ones that feel most familiar to me.  I think I have been a Demolisher driver every time I have done this fight, because there are more people who want to be in the Siege Engine.

On 25 man the roles are the same, but there are four turrets on Flame Leviathan rather than two, and the people up there hitting them take damage so one of those launched should be a healer.  Sorry, rogues.

The 10-man version of this drops a real doozy of a trinket.  The Pyrite Infuser.  Look at that hit rating!  The only other rogue drop here is the Kinetic Ripper.

On 25-man, he has the awesome Mechanists Bindings which are best-in-slot for PvE.  Also available is Rising Sun – a good thrown weapon.


Rogues are getting Creepy


Above is my current armor.  The Guise of the Midgard Serpent (which has the same model as the T8 helm) has a creepy zombie-like face on the top.  The Treacherous Shoulderpads (which have the same model as the T8 shoulders) have their own creepy-glowy faces on either side.  Also, if you notice the translucent orange tendils running from the shoulders across the chest – those shoot out of the shoulders periodically and wave around a bit.  When seen in motion, its somewhat startling.

Rogue armor looks a lot like what I’d think a witch doctor would wear.  I don’t imagine that a sneaky rogue would be displaying mummified faces on his armor.  That said, I get lots of comments about the armor during raids.  People ask me to face away from them.  Others don’t stand next to me because the waving tendrils are distracting.

However, I now have the “Show Helm” option activated for the first time in at least ten levels.

Two questions come to mind from this…

#1 – Do you like the creepy faces?

#2 – Someone who looks at me might assume that I am wearing two pieces of T8 armor.  In fact, I have no T8 armor at all.  Should two sets of armor from the same instance use the same models?


Fun in Ulduar

ulduarI haven’t written much about Ulduar because I have not spent a lot of time in there.  I felt like I needed to see the fights multiple times before I could make an informed opinion.

Ulduar is beautiful.  I think that it is at the appropriate level of difficulty for the majority of raiding guilds.  I have heard some complain that it is still not hard enough – not up to the challenge of SSC and TK back in Outland.  Well, I guess that there are parts that are easy, true.  But Ulduar has been open for more than six weeks now and not many guilds have gotten Yogg-Saron down, so its not that easy.

On the 10-man version, I’ve been in on kills of Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Ignis, Deconstructor, Kologarm, Iron Council, Auriaya, Freya, and Hodir.  On the 25-man we’ve just done Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, and Deconstructor.

From a rogue point of view, the only fight where I haven’t been able to top the damage meters is Iron Council.  Casters can stand in the little blue buff circle, while I have to follow the boss around and hope that the tank doesn’t drag him too far from the circle.

A couple of fights are really good for rogues… on Deconstructor and Hodir we get to use Feint and Cloak of Shadows regularly to good effect.  On Auriaya we have to be ready with Kick to interrupt her cast.  The Freya fight gives us little trash packs we can hit with Fan of Knives.  So far, this has been a good instance for our class.

Looking ahead, I have heard that Mimiron is tough on melee.  We’ll see how that goes.  I hope to get to him in the coming weeks.  Right now my guild is having a hard time balancing 10- and 25-man raiding.  As a casual guild we have a lot of people who don’t want to raid four or five nights a week.  Our regularly scheduled raid nights are dedicated to 25-man raids, so its a trick to find time to put together good 10-man runs.

I think after this week’s runs I’ll write some short Ulduar boss guides for rogues, much like my old Rogue in Naxx posts.  I know that others have done similar writeups, but I find that making a guide helps me reflect on the strategies for my own play.


Reminds me of Karazhan

As raiding has progressed in Northrend, a lot of players have made the comparison between Naxxramas and Karazhan.  The general wisdom is that Naxxramas is an introductory raid, like Karazhan was, and so it is OK for it to be easy.

Of course, those of us who were raiding earlier in Burning Crusade recall that Karazhan was not easy at all.  In the first months of BC, Karazhan was a relatively slow progression for many guilds – especially the more casual guilds.  Moroes was a roadblock for many guilds for weeks.  You often saw guild runs, and later pugs, that would only do lower Kara.  It wasn’t until later in BC that pugs were regularly doing full clears and people did speed runs in Kara.

So, I don’t think that Kara and Naxx compare well.  On my first 10-man Naxx run I made it through half the instance with few wipes.  Naxx is comparatively much easier.

Ulduar right now feels like Karazhan used to.  A lot of guilds have had to work hard to get Ignis down.  Deconstructor is a gear check, much like Curator was in Karazhan.  A week when your guild gets one new boss down is considered an accomplishment.  Some guilds and pugs can go into Ulduar and get Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, and Deconstructor, and maybe Kologarm but then get stuck.

The whole raiding atmosphere in Ulduar reminds me of Karazhan.  My guild took months and months to finally clear Kara.  We had weeks of good progression, and weeks where we backslid.  Downing a new boss was exciting.  I expect Ulduar to be the same.  I hope that my guild members have the patience for it, because Naxx has set a certain expectation for boss kills and loot that we won’t experience in Ulduar.


Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
June 2009
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