Posted by: Makakai | November 20, 2015

Skyreach Healing 101

221px-Skyreach_loading_screenThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the level 97-99 dungeon while leveling. Skyreach is located in the Spires of Arak and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon with some complex trash packs and routes. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are four achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement:
Ready for Raiding IV, Magnify… Enhance, I Saw Solis, Monomania. This is also the instance in which players working on the legendary ring quest-line should remember to pick up their Pure Solium Band.

Ranjit is primarily a ‘don’t stand in it’ fight as he casts several targeted abilities that the group needs to stay out of. Healers can be targeted with Windwalls that they will need to stay out of throughout the fight. Watch your distance to the rest of the party when the Four Winds are cast so that you can reach them for spot healing. Move out of the way for Piercing Rush to avoid the targeted damage.

Quick Tactics: Don’t get hit by any of the windwalls and watch for heavy damage on the tank or dps that don’t move fast enough.

Sharpeye Gleam – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Helm
Bloodfeather Girdle – +Haste/Mastery Druid Belt
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Pally Belt

Arkanath is a straightforward tank-and-spank encounter with a soft-enrage making it mainly a dps race. His main ability is a Burst AoE that will deal increasing damage to the entire party. Secondly, throughout the fight one (or two on heroic difficulty) Energize beams will be focused on the boss, healing him for every second that the beam is allowed to hit him. Players should be standing in these beams to block their path. If you are soaking an Energize beam during Burst use a personal cooldown.

Quick Tactics: Use your AoE healing strategically to recover from Burst and stand in Energize to prevent the boss from healing.

Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck for Paladins and Shaman
Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck for Druids
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck for Monks
Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Druid Boots
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Boots
Spire of the Furious Construct – +Crit/Mastery Staff backup weapon for Shaman

Rukhran is probably the most difficult boss in this instance for players to learn. This fiery bird requires careful add management in combination with targeted abilities from both the boss and the adds. The Summon Solar Flare adds appear from the Piles of Ash targeted by a Sunburst. The Summon Solar Flares can be stunned, snared, and kited so staying in the safe zone between the Piles of Ash will help out your team.

Heroic: Throughout the encounter, Quills will be cast, dealing heavy AoE damage. This damage can be avoided by hiding behind the pillar in the center of the platform.

Quick Tactics: Strategically kill or kite the Summon Solar Flare adds and line of sight the Quills by standing behind the center pillar.

Bloodfeather Grips – +Haste/Mastery Druid Gloves
Leafmender Wraps – +Multi/Crit Monk Gloves
Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Gloves
Rukhran’s Quill – +Haste/Spirit Trinket for Druids

High Sage Viryx
High Sage Viryx, the final boss of the encounter requires strategic placement and burst dps. The first ability to watch for from Viryx is Cast Down, in which a random non-tank player is picked up and carried to edge of the platform to be dropped. The Solar Zealot can be snared, stuned, and rooted to give the dps time to get it down. If you’re being carried you can still use your abilities to help out the dps. The second ability is Lens Flare, focusing a player with a beam of light that will leave pools of fire on the ground. Slowly walk the fire out to the edge of the platform to give the team room to maneuver.

Quick Tactics: Stand in the center-front of the platform to give room to kite Lens Flare and time for the dps to kill the Solar Zealot.

Leggings of Swirling Light – +Mulit/Mastery Priest Pants
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Crit/Multi Monk Legs
Morningscale Leggings – +Haste/Mastery Druid Legs
Morningscale Spaulders – +Crit/Mastery Shaman Shoulders
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Multi Paladin Legs
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring for Druids
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring for Priests and Monks
Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring for Paladins and Shaman

Posted by: Makakai | January 12, 2015

Auchindoun Healing 101

loadscreen_auchindoun_wodThis next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the level 95-97 dungeon while leveling. Auchindoun is located in the center of Talador and has both a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon but minimal trash packs. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in my Draenor guides from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There is only one achievement to complete in this Heroic dungeon that counts toward the meta-Achievement: …They All Fall Down. However, players working on the legendary ring quest-line should remember to pick up their Corrupted Blood of Teron’gor.

Vigilant Kaathar
Vigilant Kaathar is primarly a ‘don’t stand in it’ fight as he casts several targeted abilities that effect the outgoing damage. The first is Hallowed Ground, which starts as a large golden area of effect that gradually shrinks to a small point and will only be triggered if a player stands in it. Secondly, he creates fissures directing outward from a central point toward a ranged party member called Sanctified Ground, which is a pretty obvious ‘don’t stand in it’ ability. Finally, throughout the fight, Kaathar will also cast Consecrated Light, which deals very heavy party-wide damage that you will need to line-of-sight by standing behind the Holy Shield that he targeted a party member with. Be careful standing too close to the outside of the room, the Holy Shield will land on you and could be too close to the barrier to allow the party to move behind it.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Hallowed Ground or Sanctified Strike fissures. Hide behind the Shield when he starts channeling.

Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring
Frost-Touched Cord – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Belt
Bloodfeather Girdle – +Haste/Mastery Leather Belt
Sharpeye Belt – +Crit/Mastery Mail Belt
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Plate Belt

Soulbinder Nyami
Soulbinder Nyami is all about add control. She frequently summons adds with abilities similar to the trash packs leading up to her fight. There will be heavy party-wide damage if interrupts aren’t timely, but if you have a competent tank and/or a dps in the party with good interrupts there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Throughout this fight she will also periodically cast Radiant Fury, which can be avoided by standing in Soul Vessel which looks like a purple swirl. If you are having trouble keeping up with the healing, dispel the Shadow Word: Pain debuff she will occasionally cast on a party member.

Heroic: Dispel Crusader Strike from the tank as often as possible.

Quick Tactics: Dispel debuffs as needed. Stand in the safety of Soul Vessel.

Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck
Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck
Chestguard of Burning Focus – +Multi/Crit Leather Chest
Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather Chest
Morningscale Chestguard – +Crit/Mastery Mail Chest

Notable Trash: There are several trash packs of various demons leading up to Azzakel. These are particularly difficult trash pulls and can one-shot a dps that pulls aggro. Have your cooldowns on hand here particularly with packs containing Blazing Tricksters and Cackling Pyromaniacs.

Azzakel is a two-phase repeating fight. The first phase, is a straight-forward kill-the-boss fight. During this phase, the party should remain spread out at least 5 yards from other players to avoid spreading Curtain of Flame. In the second phase, Azzakel is now immune to damage while he summons a group of adds. Avoid the Blazing Tricksters and assist with interrups, stuns, and crowd-control where possible. Don’t stand in the Fel Pools.

Heroic: Azzakel’s Fel Pools will now radiate lines of yellow-green flame. Avoid moving through these lines as they will deal heavy damage.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand near a player with Curtain of Flame and don’t stand in Fel Pools.

Frost-Touched Wristwraps – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Bracers
Leafmender Wraps – +Crit/Multi Leather Bracers
Bloodfeather Grips – +Haste/Mastery Leather Gloves
Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail Gloves

Notable Trash: Shaadum does a wirlwind that will often catch melee standing in it. So have a cooldown ready for your melee. Gul’kosh will apply a dot, Unstable Aflliction, on party members. Don’t dispel this dot.

Teron’gor is a straight-forward fight until he reaches 75% of his health. At this point he drains the soul of a nearby ghost and gains the abilities of one of the warlock specs. Fortunately, he will emote the name of the ghost he will be taking the aspect of: Iruun (Demonology), Joraa (Destruction), or Elum (Affliction). Move out of Rain of Fire, Demonic Leap (if Demonology aspect), and Chaos Wave (if Demonolgy aspect). Dispel the various curses and diseases as you are able, just don’t dispel Unstable Affliction as it will detonate and silence you. You may need to focus healing on the player affected by Seed of Malevolence (if Affliction aspect).

Heroic: Teron’gor will also have Summon Abyssal. The Abyssal will Fixate on a random target and chase them for 12 seconds before switching to a new target. They have too much health so they must just be kited the entire fight. They are susceptible to snares, knockbacks, roots, and stuns. Druid healers, just keep them rooted the entire fight to save your party and your sanity.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in the bad stuff, and dispel as you are able, just not Unstable Affliction.

Drape of Iron Sutures – +Crit/Spirit Cloak
Mistwoven Windcloak – +Multi/Spirit Cloak
Cloak of Mending Magics – +Haste/Spirit Cloak
Sandals of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth Feet
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Crit/Multi Leather Legs
Crystalbinder Legwraps and Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Leather Legs & Feet
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Mail Feet
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Multi Plate Legs

Posted by: Makakai | January 9, 2015

Iron Docks Healing 101

221px-Iron_Docks_loading_screenThe next Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guide covers the next dungeon in the leveling progress that opens up when you hit level 93. Iron Docks is a 5-man dungeon located in Gorgrond and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon and few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes, which I’ll point out for a given fight in the guide below. One difference in this guide from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are three achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: Militaristic, Expansionist; Expert Timing; Take Cover!.

Fleshrender Nok’gar
Fleshrender Nok’gar is the first boss as you move into the dockyard. This boss is essentially two bosses in one, as Nok’gar is riding Dreadfang. Nok’gar cannot be defeated until after Dreadfang is defeated or reaches 50% health on heroic. Discipline priests and Mistweaver monks should be careful attacking Nok’gar as he applies Intimidated when attacked. Move out of the Burning Arrows and watch your slow-moving and stationary DPS.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Burning Arrows and heal the slow-moving party members still standing in the fire.

Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Signet of Crashing Waves – +Multi/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Gutwrench Goreaxe – +Crit/Multi One-Hand Axe
Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Chesguard of Burning Focus – +Crit/Multi Leather
Morningscale Chestguard – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Notable Trash: The trash before the Grimrail Enforcers is part of a gauntlet and will require killing pack of trash mobs in between running out of an AoE damage spell. Skulloc, from the bow of the warship, will begin to rain a Cannon Barrage down on one of three regions of the dock which will cause very high damage to the party. However, party members standing behind shipping containers will be safe. The party must wait until the Cannon Barrage is no longer firing on the area immediately in front of them, then run quickly to the next set of shipping containers and hide behind them while fighting the trash pack.

Grimrail Enforcers
Grimrail Enforcers is a council fight and the suggested kill order is Ahri’ok Dugru, then Makogg Emberblade, and then Neesa Nox. If you are dealing damage, don’t damage the enemy effected by Sanguine Sphere. Move out of the way of Ogre Traps and the Lava Sweep waves. Dispel Tainted Blood if possible.

Quick Tactics: Party damage decreases as the number of enemies reduces so strong heals early on. Don’t stand in Traps or Lava waves.

Healing Leaf Necklace – +Haste/Spirit Neck
Pendant of Purifying Mists – +Multi/Spirit Neck
Wavesurge Choker – +Crit/Spirit Neck
Hood of Arcane Mastery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Sharpeye Gleam – +Crit/Mastery Mail

The main mechanics of this encounter are Time to Feed and the releas of two different adds from the cages around the room. The player targeted by Time to Feed will take heavy damage from Feeding Frenzy and you’ll need to use a personal cooldown if you are chosen. Party members in Oshir’s path as he travels between cages and targets will take heavy damage from Primal Assault. Avoid Acid Spash puddles.

Quick Tactics: Don’t stand in Oshir’s path when he goes to open a cage. Use personal cooldowns if targeted by Time to Feed.

Frost-Touched Wristwraps and Frost-Touched Cord – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Streamslither Belt – +Crit/Multistrike Mail
Rivet-Sealed Waistplate – +Crit/Multi Plate

The final boss in Iron Docks. Skulloc is accompanied by Koramar and First Mate Zoggosh, and the encounter is most difficult while all three are active. Players should kill Koramar initially, then focus their damage on Skulloc, while avoiding Zoggosh’s Rapid Fire attacks. The player targeted by Rapid Fire will need some extra healing, and you should move away from the group if targeted. Skulloc’s only mechanic is Cannon Barrage which will knock players back to the other end of the ship and then lay down cannon fire across the ship. Players must line-of-sight the cannon fire behind boxes and barrels on the ship’s deck while moving forward between breaks in the barrage and doesn’t stop until a player re-engages him. Druids and Warriors can leap forward to engage Skulloc to stop the barrage sooner. Also, travel form works to move between the box safe-zones.

Quick Tactics: Heal up Rapid Fire targets. Move between safe-zones to get out of Cannon Barrage.

Felflame Spaulders and Lightbinder Leggings – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Crystalbinder Legwraps and Spaulders of Burning Focus – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Bloodfeather Leggings – +Multi/Crit Leather
Morningscale Spaulders and Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail
Goldsteel Legplates and Gutcrusher Shoulderplates– +Crit/Multi Plate

Posted by: Makakai | January 5, 2015

Bloodmaul Slag Mines Healing 101


This first post of my Warlords of Draenor Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover the starter dungeon that will be the first dungeon when you visit the new ‘Outlands’. Bloodmaul Slag Mines is a 5-man dungeon located in Frostfire Ridge and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon with some optional ordering. There are a few mechanical differences between Normal and Heroic modes that will be called out for each fight in the guide below. One difference in this guide from previous guides is that the gear called out after each boss are limited to pieces of particular note from among all of the drops in this dungeon.

There are three achievements to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement: Come With Me If You Want to LiveIs Draenor on Fire?A Gift of Earth and Fire.

The initial trash packs should be pulled quickly but carefully as the patrols move very quickly and can easily escalate a fight.

Slave Watcher Crushto
Slave Watcher Crushto is the first boss if you go right from the entrance. Stay behind the boss to avoid Earth Crush. If the dps don’t get the interrupts successfully on Ferocious Yell then you will need to do some catch-up healing. Move out of the way of Crushing Leap. Slow dps moving out of Crushing Leap will need extra heals from the additional damage from the Captured Miner(s). Crushto occasionally adds Captured Miners to the fight. The Hostile miners introduce a dot to a random player, so watch your dps for low health. The friendly miners add dps, so turn on your friendly health bars so you can add some extra healing their way.

Quick Tactics: Stay stacked behind the boss. As long as interrupts happen for Ferocious Yell, dispels are timely for the Miner’s dot, and the adds are killed, this fight is pretty straightforward.

Crushto’s Runic Alarm – +Int/Crit Trinket
Lightbinder Leggings and Frost-Touch Wristwraps – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Leggings of Swirling Light – +Mastery/Multi Cloth
Crystalbinder Legwraps – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Bloodfeather Leggings and Leafmender Wraps – +Mulit/Crit Leather
Streamslither Bracers – +Crit/Multistrike Mail
Goldsteel Legplates – +Crit/Mastery Plate

Forgemaster Gog’duh (Magmolatus)
Forgemaster Gog’duh is the first boss on the left from the entrance. This is a two phase fight with different ‘bosses’ and sets of adds in each phase. The first phase starts with Forgemaster Gog’duh, Calamity, & Ruination. Gog’duh’s main ability is Magma Barrage, which can be interrupted. Don’t stand in the AoE Rough Smash or Shatter Earth cast by Ruination. Dispel Dancing Flames. The second phase introduces Magmolatus and his Molten Elemental adds. The add cannot be tanked, but they are immobile so don’t stand near them. Don’t stand in the AoE Slag Smash cast by Magmolatus or Gog’duh’s Volcanic Tantrum. Dispel Withering Flames and Choking Ashes.

Quick Tactics: Two phase fight with different adds. Don’t stand in the AoE damage and dispel all the things. If the dps are on top of the interrupts then additional damage should be minimal.

Chestguard of Burning Focus – +Crit/Multistrike Leather
Bloodfeather Grips and Crystalbinder Chestguard – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Morningscale Chestguard and Rockhide Gloves – +Crit/Mastery Mail

Roltall is a elemental that is standing at the end of the bridge and must be defeated to get the final boss. Roltall summons a series of Fiery Boulders that roll down the bridge, damaging everyone in their path. A circle will appear where the boulder will start, indicating it’s path with plenty of warning to move out the way. After the Fiery Boulders, he calls a Heat Wave to damage all players and push them down the bridge. Use your healing cooldowns and instant cast spells to keep everyone up during this point of the fight. Move out of Burning Slage that ignites the bridge for the remainder of the fight.

Heroic: On heroic the Fiery Boulders return back up the bridge in the order they went down the bridge. The key to this fight is to remember the order of the set of three boulders (e.g., left, middle, right) and move out of the way in the reverse order for their return path (e.g., right, middle, left).

Quick Tactics: This is primarly a don’t stand in it fight. You’ll need to use some cooldowns and instant cast heals for Heat Wave.

Drape of Iron Sutures – +Crit/Spirit Cloak
Mistwoven Windcloak – +Multi/Spirit Cloak
Cloak of Mending Magics – +Haste/Spirit Cloak
Roltall’s Brutal Crescent – 1-Hand Axe +Mastery/Multi
Sandals of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Blackwater Boots – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Morningscale Treads – +Crit/Mastery Mail

The final boss in Bloodmaul Slag Mines. Don’t stand in Magma Eruption, which appear as small magma pools under everyone’s feet. If the dps aren’t interrupting his Molten Blast and he reaches 3 stacks of Molten Core, you will need to use extra healing cooldowns for Molten Barrage. If the Unstable Slag reach the kiln, use extra healing cooldowns for Empowered Flames. On Heroic he introduces a new ability Flame Buffet, which increases fire damage taken, dispel quickly.

An easy strategy for this boss is to stack the melee on the tank and the ranged together and move in a coordinated arc across the room, dropping the Magma Eruption and still standing in range of the Unstable Slag adds.

Quick Tactics: If your dps are good with the interrupts and killing the adds, then most of the fight should involve not standing in Magma pools and dispelling Flame debuff.

Band of Growing Leaves – +Crit/Spirit Ring
Seal of Vindication – +Haste/Spirit Ring
Felflame Spaulders and Hood of Arcane Mystery – +Crit/Mastery Cloth
Spaulders of Burning Focus – +Haste/Mastery Leather
Sharpeye Gleam Helm and Morningscale Spaulders – +Crit/Mastery Mail
Gutcrusher Shoulderplates – +Crit/Multistrike Plate

Posted by: Makakai | November 11, 2014

Healer Misinformation

Both True and False with selected checkboxes

I’ve started writing this post a dozen times since I began my blog and invariably Blizzard changes healer balance or a new patch comes out with new content that changes the point of the post and it lingers in my backlog. However, two concepts have lasted through most of the last expansion or so, therefore, I thought I’d share them during this twilight time before the next expansion and discuss what types of healer misinformation we might see in Warlords of Draenor.

Armor Specialization

I see so many times a healer joining a group at maximum level in a mixed set of gear including pieces that are not the correct armor class. At lower levels this is less of a critical feature, but at maximum level it’s hurting yourself and your group. Why is this such a problem, you might ask? Well because of a passive ability each class has called Armor Specialization (for druid, shaman, paladin, and monk). This ability provides 5% of your primary attribute based on your specialization. This means that all healing characters will gain 5% additional intellect and consequently all of your healing spells will heal for more. I’ve included a nice table that shows the base mana and the potential increase at different levels. Intellect increases the mana pool by 15 mana points for each point of intellect (except from the first 20 points of Intellect that provide 1 mana for each point). So unless that cloth piece on your druid is providing 5% more intellect than the leather piece you had on…you’ll want to wait for a proper upgrade.

Level Base Mana
1 50
10 200
20 600
30 1300
40 2200
50 3300
60 4200
70 8200
80 17000
90 300000

 Stacking Healing Classes

I recently had to explain to my raid group why more than one discipline priest will actually hurt the raid. They of course thought I was being classist, even the priests in the group. Well, what is wrong with multiple disc priests you might ask? A key component of disc priest healing is that the majority of their healing is in the form of mitigation through shields. Unlike heals, only the shield of one Priest can be active for any given time. No other shields can be applied on an already shielded player unless Weakened Soul wears off. Why is this a problem though, as you can just shield someone else in the raid? This problem is particularly important because of two abilities, Rapture and Borrowed Time. Since you can’t apply your shield, you don’t regen mana as efficiently and you don’t have the haste bonus for penance. This makes it even more difficult to keep the tanks ‘healed’ particularly after they take spike damage and to keep their health as stable as possible. Additionally, in a 10-man raid group with 2 disc priests they essentially reduce their potential targets to 5 players each. However, many raid groups don’t have a lot of choice as to which healing classes they bring, in which case clear communication becomes extremely important. Working with multiple Disc Priests, each one has to talk to the other and outline specifically which Priest is covering which target full time. What I basically told my raid group was that having 2 disc priests is not optimal but still better than no healer at all.

So what type of healer misinformation might we expect to see in Warlords of Draenor?

Here are a couple of things that might introduce a lot of confusion to the healing community:

  • Loss of Mana regen for healing classes except for select spells such as the Mana Tea spell for Monks and the Mindbender talent for Priests.
  • Changes to stat priorities and the loss of haste breakpoints.
Posted by: Makakai | September 7, 2014

Exploring the Beta: Warlords of Draenor

WoDScreenThanks to a contest on an awesome fan site (Thanks!) I won a Beta key to the new Warlords of Draenor Expansion testing. As a multi-healer I’m definitely taking the opportunity to explore and test the different components of this new expansion. Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting a comment post covering different features of the expansion as I encounter them.

Starting off, I’ve copied over my tauren druid (herbalism/alchemy and maxed secondary professions) and created a pre-made blood elf priest.  I’ll copy over additional characters and create additional pre-mades as the testing continues to explore different features in more depth as needed.

The first testing I did was to explore leveling as a healer on the priest. The pre-made priest ‘K’ I spec’d discipline/shadow. I leveled about 33% from 90 to 91 and much of the content was easily completed as discipline, even the quest ‘bosses’. There is some phasing and the garrison is very buggy still so an extensive look will have to wait until the next update.

The second feature I did some exploration of is the profession content. The pre-made character is herbalism/alchemy for garrison leveling purposes, so I was limited on my primary professions. I recommend following a profession specific blog/site for additional detail, but the biggest surprise was how dependent the initial level of alchemy is on fishing.

Stay tuned for more from the first zone which I’ve dubbed the land of ‘Frost and Fire’ as much of it is froze with areas of lava around the garrison.

Posted by: Makakai | February 23, 2014

The Empty Vessel

inv_crate_07 “As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.” Thanks to the early English authors William Baldwin and William Shakespeare the sounds of world of warcraft are my topic today, I’ll just blabber on about it for a bit…

Probably my favorite quote from the game is one that is not easily found on Wowhead, but you will hear it if you go through the quest chain. Morgor <Hero of the Warmaul> will yell “Mogor not impressed! Skra’gath wuz made of da air and shadow! Soft like da squishy orcies!” during The Ring of Blood quest chain. I have a rez macro on my healers that I don’t usually use that goes something like “Makakai is not impressed! %t wuz made of da air and shadow! Soft like da squishy orcies!” I used it some with all guild runs because they knew it’s reference, but in pugs it could cause some hurt feelings.

There are so many sound bites from World of Warcraft that make the game so meaningful to players, yet many turn off or don’t use sound in their regular game play. With sound on, it is quite possible to do many of the dungeons and raid activities based on sound effects (i.e., not requiring DBM). One of the most obvious was Ozruk’s “Break Yourself” from The Stonecore dungeon. This sound was critical to warning players that Elementium Bulwark is about to be cast so that players could apply a reflected dot to themselves and prevent Paralyze.

Most recently I’ve spent a lot of time in Garrosh’s Inner Sanctum listening to the beating of a heartbeat, namely Y’Shaarj. I can’t seem to find this sound file outside of the game, but it definitely gives you the creeps after a couple of hours of listening to it…

Today I leave you with the soundbite you’re probably thinking after this post, from YouTube.

Happy Healing!

Posted by: Makakai | February 18, 2014

Gate of the Setting Sun Healing 101

Gate of the Setting Sun Loading ScreenThis last of the new dungeons for my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover one of the last dungeons you’ll see during your leveling process. Gate of the Setting Sun is a 5-man dungeon located the border of Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Dread Wastes. This dungeon has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon with four bosses to defeat. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Bomberman, Conscriptonator, and Mantid Swarm. The third boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Saboteur Kip’tilak
This first fight with Saboteur Kip’tilak is based on the bombing you just encountered with the trash and is probably the easiest fight in Pandaria dungeons. When he casts Sabotage on a player, they will explode after a few seconds. If the fire hits a bomb it will cause it to detonate, which can be used to your advantage to clean out the room before the bombs become too many to dodge. Stay away from the Stable Munitions, otherwise it’s going to go off in the same cardinal directions as you experienced in the trash leading up to it. When Kip’tilak reaches 70% and 30% health, he will detonate all the Stable Munitions currently in the room with World in Flames.

Quick Tactics: Try to avoid the lines of fire. If you get Sabotage, you’ll fire out fire north, south, east and west – try and use this to detonate other bombs. At 30% and 70% he’ll blow all of the bombs, so be prepared for some heavy healing.

Fallout Filter – Cloth Helm +Haste

Striker Ga’dok
The most important aspect of the fight is Strafing Run, which happens twice, when Ga’dok reaches 70% and 30% health. During Strafing Run Ga’dok engulfs half the platform in flames twice (first from west to east, and then from north to south). Stick with the group if you can, if you get separated from the group by the flames, be ready to top the group up when the flames go down. In addition to that, you need to be aware of Acid Bombs, which create pools of poison on the platform’s surface.  Finally, pay attention to Impaling Strike and Prey Time, as Impaling Strike will require you to keep an eye on the tank and Prey Time will be a targeted DoT on a party member.

Quick Tactics: Stay together, move away from adds’ AOE. Move out of fire but don’t get split from the group.

Airstream Treads – Leather boots +Haste
(Heroic only) Bomber’s Precision Gloves – Cloth gloves +Crit/Haste (no spirit)

Commander Ri’mok
During the fight, Ri’mok has to be kited along the ramparts to prevent him from standing in the poison pools that he creates with Viscous Fluid. Viscous Fluid will stack a buff (up to 5) on Ri’mok that increases his damage dealt and reduces his damage taken. Stay out of the front of the boss as he does a cone attack called Frenzied Assault. Finally, Krik’thik Swarmers and Krik’thik Saboteurs will regularly join the fight and need to be killed. Watch for Bombard to do some AoE damage.

Quick Tactics: Tank needs to kite boss out of green slime. Get out of front cone when he does frenzy. Watch for the AoE damage from bombard.

Leggings of the Frenzy – Cloth legs +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)
(Heroic only) Viscous Ring – Ring +Haste

After defeating Commander Ri’mok, the Mantid will break open the Gate of the Setting Sun, giving a chance to Raigonn, the giant Kuchong, to enter the gate’s courtyard. This final boss encounter is a two-stage fight. During Phase One, the dps will have to break Raigonn’s carapace, all the while the tank will dealing with a number of adds. Throughout this phase, he keeps battering the rampart to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms by using Battering Headbutt. Each time Raigonn uses Battering Headbutt, he throws all enemies attacking his weak spot on the ground, and damages everyone within 10 yards of the impact. Meanwhile, the DPS will be using the launchers along the perimeter of the courtyard to launch onto him and break his Impervious Carapace by attacking his Weak Spot. You’ll need to keep up with the tank as they round up the adds that are continuously spawning. The three different adds will have abilities, but the main one to watch out for is called Engulfing Winds. These tornadoes deal proximity damage within 3 yards and should be avoided.

After his carapace has been broken, Raigonn enters Phase Two. During this phase, he will use Fixate on a random player. Players fixated upon must kite him away from other party members because he regularly casts Stomp. The adds will no longer be spawning, but you may have some remaining from Phase One.

Quick Tactics: Phase 1: Stick with the tank who is taking adds, DPS use cannon to get on boss’s head and attack Weak Spot. Phase 2: Fixated player kite, stay away from Stomp.

Swarmbringer Chestguard – Plate chest +Mastery
Shield of the Protectorate – Shield/Off-hand +Haste
Carapace Breaker – One-handed mace +Haste/Spell Power
(Heroic only) Frenzyswarm Bracers – Cloth bracer +Mastery

Posted by: Makakai | February 11, 2014

Siege of Niuzao Temple Healing 101

Siege of Niuzao Temple Loading ScreenThis next post of my Pandaria Healing 101 WoW dungeon guides will cover another mid-level dungeon, the next level bracket after the Monastery and the Palace. Niuzao Temple is a 5-man dungeon located in Townlong Steppes and has a Normal-difficulty and a Heroic-difficulty version of the dungeon. There are four bosses in this dungeon. There are no differences in mechanics between Normal and Heroic modes for the Mogu’Shan Palace. The only differences are increased health and damage done for all bosses and enemies. There are three achievements and 1 step to complete in this Heroic dungeon that count toward the meta-Achievement Glory of the Pandaria Hero: Return to Sender, Run with the Wind, and Where’s My Air Support?. The first boss in this instance is needed for the achievement Polyformic Acid Science.

Vizier Jin’bak
The fight with Vizier Jin’bak revolves around the yellow-orange Sap Puddle in the center of the room. The Sap Globules that  Jin’bak summons periodically throughout the fight need to be killed before they reach the Sap Puddle, because they cause it to grow in size. To shrink the Sap Puddle, you can stand in it, but this does Sap Residue damage, so try to get the Sap Globules killed. The size of the Sap Puddle determines the damage done to all party members by Detonate, so you’ll want to use your cooldowns toward the end of the fight.

Quick Tactics: Kill globules before they reach puddle. Stand in the puddle if you need to make it smaller. When he casts Detonate, party will take damage depending on size of pool.

Hood of Viridian Residue – Leather Helm +Crit
Girdle of soothing Detonation – Plate belt +Crit

Commander Vo’jak
Commander Vo’jak is essentially a two phase fight, the first dealing with adds and the second phase with the boss. During Phase One, Li and Lo Chu, will position and prepare mantid tar kegs for use in the battle. Players can throw the kegs of Caustic Tar onto the steps leading up to the platform to slow and damage the adds. The little pots along edge of the platform can be clicked on, then use the targeting circle to click and throw the caustic tar onto the adds. Target a little ahead of the adds to get them with the tar. A good group will have only the elite adds actually make it up to the platform. Throughout this phase you’ll also have a Sik’thik Amberwing regularly bombing the platform, so you’ll need to move around for that. Once his forces are down, Commander Vo’jak will engage the group. Someone in the group can use the caustic tar to remove Rising Speed from Vo’jak, a stacking attack speed increasing buff. Stay at range from the boss if possible (you too monks) to avoid Thousand Blades. He will also do a Dashing Strike, that will do significant damage and knock back a player. If you see someone go flying, ready your big heals.

Quick Tactics: First phase avoid bombs, use Caustic Tar to slow adds. Second phase use caustic tar to remove buff on boss, get out of the Blades. Heal up the target of Dashing Strike, as they will take lots of damage.

Bombardment Bracers – Cloth bracers +Haste
Chestwrap of Arcing Flame – Leather chest +Crit

General Pa’valak
The basic fight with General Pa’valak is pretty straight forward, it’s the Add portion of the fight that can trip up a group. Pa’valak’s two general abilities are Blade Rush and Tempest. Don’t stand near him for Tempest and move away from his sword target for Blade Rush. The important mechanic that everyone needs to pay attention to occurs when he reaches 65% and 35% health. At these points he puts up Bulwark and summons waves of Sik’thik Soldiers. Throughout these waves of Soldiers, the Amber-Sappers will be throwing bombs onto the field. Click on them within the first 3 seconds after they touch the ground. You can then throw them to kill the Soldier waves. If you don’t click on the bombs right away move at least 7 yards away from them as they will explode. Once all of the soldiers are dead, Pa’valak will join the fight again. Note that the adds will tend to target the healer (HoT aggro you know) so you’ll want to stick close to the tank.

Quick Tactics: Kill adds by picking up bombs and throwing them at them. If you can’t click a bomb, get away from it. When boss throws sword, get away from it.

Breezebinder Handwraps – Cloth gloves +Haste
Siegeworn Bracers – Plate bracers +Crit
Vial of Ichorous Blood – Trinket +Int (on use spirit)

Wing Leader Ner’onok
The last boss fight with Wing Leader Ner’onok is my favorite one of the Mists of Pandaria dungeons. Ner’onok essentially has two sets of abilities he uses. The first set is his main attacks, Hurl Brick, Caustic Pitch, and Quick-Dry Resin; the second set is when he takes off and flies to the other end of the bridge and casts Gusting Winds. Watch your tank damage for Hurl Brick, don’t stand in the Caustic Pitch puddles, and if you get Quick-Dry Resin, jump up and down to prevent being encased.At 66% and 33% health, Ner’onok will fly to the other end of the bridge. Once he gets there, he will channel/cast Gusting Winds. The idea here is to reach Ner’onok at the other side of the bridge and interrupt a cast of Gusting Winds, which causes him to resume fighting. The small walls that you noticed walking up to him will block the wind allowing you to reach him on the other side of the bridge.

Quick Tactics: If you get Quick-Dry Resin, jump to remove it. When he flies to other side of the bridge, get to him using walls to get in the way of his winds and Pitch puddles to prevent you moving, and interrupt him.

Airbender Sandals – Mail boots +Haste
Belt of Totemic Binding – Mail waist +Haste
Breezeswept Hood – Cloth helm +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)
Gustwalker Staff – Staff +Mastery/Spell Power
Whisperwind Spaulders – Cloth shoulders +Haste/Mastery (no spirit)

Posted by: Makakai | February 8, 2014

Battling Travel

International air travel
So my Elder post for this week got hung up since I didn’t set a publish date within my dashboard for my blog. I claim travel fatigue from this past week. I live in the snow zone of the U.S. and travel during the winter will tire out even the most stalwart heroes…

Since I’ve spent part of this week on an airplane I’ll chat about Flying; well Flying Battle pets actually. Let’s start with the Battle pet basics. If you’ve not done any pet battling I recommend reading an introductory guide to get you started because there’s a lot more to it than just grabbing any old three battle pets and talking to a trainer. THE best resource for companion pets, Warcraft pets, has great resources and information about battle pets. One thing that seems to be a very basic concept that new folks starting out don’t always grok is the whole idea of Strong and Weak Attack/Defend bonuses. I actually leveled a team of 3 pets to 25 and was working through the tamer quests before I realized there was something I was not following correctly and I’m not the only player that has stumbled through this. There’s even a couple different infographic representations of this stuff folks!

Once you start the battle pet quests and start battling higher level tamers the Wowhead Dailies guide will give you a quick cheat sheet on recommended pets for the battle, location of tamer, and info about the pets that you’ll be battling. The bags you get from some of the tamers, or even a wild pet battle during the collection stage might drop a Battle-stone, to find out the best order of pets to use your stones on I recommend the guide to Battle-stones and you.

Now that you’re a Battle pet pro, you’re probably leveling the 30+ pets you need to take on the Celestial tournament right? If not here’s a great guide to Beating the Celestial Tournament. Based on this information you’ve been leveling your Amber Moth, Sandy Petrel, and Wildhammer Gryphon Hatchling, right? Don’t worry you didn’t need to use a Battle-stone on any of these fliers (just these fliers), so they were ready to go right out of the gate.

So I leave you with my favorite flying companion pet, mostly for it’s difficulty to acquire than it’s abilities or model: Hyacinth Macaw.

Happy Healing!

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