Archive for the 'Dinaer' Category


Challenge Mode… ouch

We’re not too far progressed in raid content yet.  However, we were looking for something interesting to do. The presence  of Challenge Modes has been taunting us.

Since the Challenge Modes scale your gear down to 463, in principle it shouldn’t matter how high your gear is, as long as most/all of your pieces are higher than 463.  We got together a group of five who fit that description and gave Temple of the Jade Serpent a shot.

Whoooooooo……. boy.

I was under the impression that it was much like a normal heroic run, maybe a little harder, and it was on a timer.  We ran through heroic Temple for practice right before our Challnege Mode attempt, and got through it relatively quickly.  Then we switched to Challenge and waded in.

To paraphrase our old friend Illidan, we were not prepared.

Everything is much harder.  The mobs hit harder and they go down slower.  All damage effects are increased.  On top of that, since your gear is downgraded your dps and healing are lower than you are used to.

We got to the first boss (Wise Mari) and promptly wiped on him twice.  Turns out he has a mechanic in Challenge Mode that he doesn’t have on normal or heroic.  If you are more than 20 yards away he lobs water bombs on you, and its unhealable damage.  Thus, you have to do the whole fight on those rings around the boss.

Also, he turns around faster when firing his water jet.  Hooray.

We wiped a few times.  We reset the instance and tried again.  Got him down the first time.  Went on to the next boss.  Got it down.  Third boss.  Got it down.  We’re being methodical and not trying to push things.  We pull the final boss with 12 minute left on the bronze medal time.

…. and its all downhill from there.

The final boss is crazy hard.  His shadows do tons of damage, and healer mana gets used up like crazy during the shadow phase.  It took us 6 wipes before we finally got him down, missing the bronze medal time by… a lot.  We did manage to finish, though.  Got our 45 VP plus another bunch of VP for it being the daily Challenge Mode quest.

At this time, in my opinion the Challenge Modes are going to be an exception to the “bring the player not the class” mantra that Blizzard uses.  You would be crazy to do these without a Heroism/Bloodlust in the party.  Also, AoE classes are very useful in moving through trash packs quickly.  We did the dungeon with a very poorly optimized party – no heroism, no paladin blessing, not even a hunter with a variety of pets.

I was hoping that my Shroud of Concealment would be useful, but not in this dungeon.  The trash packs are hard to get around, and many are mandatory.

All in all it was really fun, and quite challenging.  I’m looking forward to trying more.


Crazy Assassination Damage

I suspect there may be some nerfs incoming for assassination rogues.

Why?  Let me show you.

Background… I haven’t played my rogue in months.  We’re short of healers, so I have raided exclusively on my resto druid for the past few months.  When patch 5.0.4 dropped, I read up on the changes to my rogue but didn’t get a chance to try them out in the game.  They weren’t major changes, in any case.

This weekend I finally got to raid DS on my rogue.  I had not spent any time on a target dummy in advance, so I was a little nervous going in that I would mess things up.

This is the parse from heroic Ultraxion…

Its not the damage totals that are important.  Its the percentages.  That rogue below me is combat spec.  (he doesn’t have the legendary daggers yet – he has the stage 2 epics).

The assassination damage was crazy.  The legendary daggers proc all the time.  I got the Fury of the Destroyer buff from the daggers 7 times during the 4:44 fight.

As we start to level, the effect of the legendary dagger procs will go away once we replace them with MoP gear.  Still, my damage output on this fight was 50% higher than anyone else in the raid.  I’m not 50% better than the other players who were there, and I was not this far ahead before the patch.  While not shown, my damage total for the entire raid was similarly unbalanced (30% higher than the next best dps, even including fights that favor ranged).  Something here is out of whack.  When there’s that much disparity this early in the expansion process, experience tells me that it usually leads to some nerfs down the line.

Enjoy it while it lasts, my rogue friends.



I had a funny memory from way, way back.

I was level 19 in vanilla WoW.  I had heard of PvP but I had no idea what it entailed.  I knew that people did long grinds to get titles.  I decided to queue for Warsong Gulch.

Alliance got trounced over and over.  It seemed like the horde would just group up and make a beeline en masse for the Alliance flag, grab it, and return as a huge group.   We could barely slow them down.  But when Alliance tried to do the same thing, we got torn apart at the entrance to the horde building.

From this, I got the early impression that (1) PvP probably wasn’t for me, and (2) Horde was OP.

However, on my eighth or ninth time queuing up, we ended up with a paladin in our group.  I rarely saw paladins back then, and no one I knew played one.  Me being a video game noob, I had this expectation that paladins, as divine warriors, would be immensely powerful.

We actually won our next WG.

I walked away from that thinking that paladins were amazing.  Every time I queued in PvP for the next 10 or so levels, if we didn’t have a paladin in the group I felt that we were doomed to failure.

The best thing about vanilla battlegrounds was that all the players came from your server.  You tended to see the same characters over and over, so you got to know them.  I casually dabbled in PvP now and then (only in WG), and each time I saw that paladin in my group I got an awestruck feeling.

Ah, to be that naive again.


Legendary daggers… check

As you can tell from my previous post, I’ve completed the legendary daggers, Golad, Twilight of Aspects and Tiriosh, Nightmare of Ages.

I made a post back on December 14th, 2011 saying that I had done the Assassinate Creed stage of the questline.  Since then, it has taken me twenty weeks of Dragon Soul runs (plus one stealth run in the basement of Karazhan) to complete the questline.

This is the first time that someone in my guild has completed a legendary since Blizzard implemented the collection/grind model back in Ulduar.  We never got the Ulduar legendary or the ICC legendary.  We have someone pretty close to the Firelands staff, and I just got the daggers.

I think the whole experience was pretty fun.  The two class-specific assassination quests were interesting and challenging.  They definitely made the whole effort worthwhile.  I’m glad that I got to do that content, and its a shame that more classes don’t get to see it.

The collecting was… meh.  However, I have nothing to compare this to.  I don’t know what kind of perseverance it took to get the rare legendaries back in the Molten Core days, so I can’t tell you how this compares.  Getting a few pieces each week makes you feel like you’re progressing, unlike the MC days when you would go months (or longer) without seeing the one drop that you needed.

But I don’t feel legendary.  I’ve never done a single heroic mode fight.  We didn’t get Deathwing down until after the first nerf.  I don’t have most of the achievements related to the Dragon Soul boss fights.  Do I really feel like I deserve this?

How exciting was it?  Right after the raid, when everyone knew I was flying to Hillsbrad to turn in the quest, half of my raid team logged off for the night rather than wait the extra ten minutes to see the guild achievement pop.  That hints that the excitement of the accomplishment was gone.

Look, I’m definitely excited.  I’m not going to turn it down.  Still, I have to say that I think legendaries should be more rare.  I think legendaries should be something that you wear and people stop and stare, or say in guild chat, “Hey, there’s a guy in SW with the legendary Sword of Uberness!  Come see!”  Instead, I got my legendary by grinding through a nerfed normal-mode raid for twenty weeks.  It feels… cheapened.

But I’m slowfalling whenever the cooldown is up.  I’m even putting together a Batman-ish transmogging set.  Yay!


No, its not Red Bull…


More Rogue Fun on the Epic Dagger Questline

Having completed the Cluster Clutch quest, I was taken to another stealth-sap-distract run leading to a solo combat, much like the one we all did previously in Gilneas City at the start of the questline. The new quest is Blood of the Betrayer and it takes place in Deadwind Pass.

First comment – I wanted to do it completely cold without reading any strats or guides.  In the end I had to look up a guide because I COULDN”T FIND THE ENTRANCE TO THE CELLAR.  The quest sends you to the town outside of Karazhan.  You’re phased, and the town is full of 85 elite mobs and wandering pats (just like Gilneas City was when we did the Assassinate Creed quest).  However, I had no idea where I was supposed to go.  I wandered around for almost a half hour before I gave in and looked up a guide online.

Next, the stealth part this time was significantly easier right up to the end.  That may be because of my experience from the first go-around, or it may be that the mobs weren’t as tightly packed.  It does get tricky in the hallway right before the mob you have to kill.

The fight itself was much like the Creed fight in Gilneas.  You’ll have to use all of your rogue abilities – kiting and bandaging, Recuperate, Stun, Blind, Cloak, Shiv, and even Expose Armor.  This time around, though, you’re given some assistance.  You get warnings like, “She’s casting Arcane Infused Armor!  Expose her Armor!” and they tell you what to do.  I’m not really sure if those warnings were from the game or from DBM, honestly.

Also, this time I went prepared.  When I killed Creed in Gilneas I wasn’t expecting how many times I would die figuring out the fight, and I ran out of consumables.  This time I went in loaded with food, potions, flasks, and bandages.  I had a Travelers Tundra Mammoth so I repaired before each attempt at the stealth run.

Once I got through the stealth part into the fight area, I did die 6 or 7 so times while learning the ins and outs of the fight, but managed to eke it out in the end before I was forced to repair and re-do the stealth run.  That’s much better than I did on Creed when I was forced to hearth out and repair TWICE before figuring it out.  When I did Creed, I tried it a bunch of times in Mutilate spec before I learned that Combat or Sub for Imp Recuperate was necessary.  This time I went in with my Combat spec from the start.

So, after a couple of hours of stealthing and about 45 minutes of fighting a dragon in a basement outside of Karazhan, I am now the proud owner of The Sleeper and The Dreamer.  I am 3/60 on the next collection quest, and that has a one-per-Dragon Soul boss drop rate.  That puts me at 57 DS boss kills to go.  For my guild, that’s probably 9-10 weeks.  I only hope we keep raiding for that long without losing our raid team to the end-of-expansion doldrums.


Slowly Getting There

As all rogues recall, Patch 4.3 was released in late November of 2011 with great fanfare.  With the release of the patch, came the questline to get the legendary daggers.

Every rogue worth his stealth did the opening steps of the questline in the first few days.  Then you had to get to Hagara and pickpocket her, then do the wonderful stealth run through Gilneas City.  A lot of us who play a rogue as our main had all of that done within a couple of weeks of the patch, and we had earned our first stage epic daggers – Fear and Vengeance.

Then came Cluster Clutch – the collecting quest in the Dragon Soul raid.  It cannot be completed in LFR so the rate that you finish this is based on how many bosses you can kill each week on normal or heroic difficulty.  This is where the hardcore raiders can pull ahead of the rest of the rogues.

At an average of about 6 Shadowy Gems per boss kill (assuming 10-man raids) this quest required you to be there for about 56 kills.

I’m happy to say that I completed this quest tonight.  It took me nearly three months.  My casual guild has not been doing full clears each week, so my progress has been steady but not rapid. In fact, we just got our first Deathwing kill on normal tonight, so it was a double-bonus for me.

I’m curious where other rogues are.  I think that a lot of them just got their first stage daggers and called it a success at that point, with no intention of moving on to later stages.  Then I think that many other rogues want to keep moving forward, but the mid-expansion lull may bring them to a halt as they have trouble forming raid groups.

This weekend I expect to do the next stealth run (near Karazhan) and hopefully get my next-stage daggers.

So, where are you in the questline?


Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
April 2018
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