Thursday, January 31, 2013

We've got this... Really...!

As we got around to doing our usual Wednesday Mogu'shan Vaults run, suddenly after the Stone Guards I got the idea of recording our raiding for the first time since Dragon Soul, from where we sadly don't have much better material than the Kalecgos part of the Madness of Deathwing Chromatic Champion achievement, a (very stylish indeed) heroic Morchok clip and some early Dragon Soul progression kills like Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj, Hagara and Ultraxion with the classic bad screaming, despite clearing the raid on heroic mode. Those videos actually make me miss Dragon Soul, heh. The oldest raid video of us, known as "Shannox now", dates back to early Firelands and, well, Shannox, Rageface and Riplimb.

We are well past our progression phase in normal mode Mogu'shan Vaults, but my sudden idea to Fraps the raid really messed with our heads. Before beginning, I told everyone how we should portray ourselves: we mustn't stand in poop, we mustn't die, we mustn't go out of mana, we mustn't do anything stupid! We mustn't do anything that wasn't what I did. For long I've thought I don't really tunnel vision, but after Feng, well, I am humbled. Please do enjoy this exclusive content of a Menagerie raid that was by far the most fun raid I have attended. We sure didn't live through our smoothest kills in history, but people were positive all the way from the first second to the last and beyond, which was really spectacular and made me incredibly happy. It really reminded me of why I fell in love with raiding in the first place.



I just wish Fraps had been running when the Eye of Kil'rogg made the first pull on Gara'jal the Spiritbinder.




Then came the time for the most flawless Elegon kill.
"Did you record that?"
"Nope."
"...You're kidding me?"
"Nope."


This is just one of those times when I try to say that you guys mean a ton to me.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ruins of Korune screenshots

I got on the quest to retrieve the Divine Bell from the ruins of Korune, and I thought the quest took place under pretty cool circumstances.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the Refinery, anyone?

The Divine Bell.















In addition some music I thought of while bullying those mogu statues.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nica's guide to elemental shaman PvE - Abilities, rotation and cooldowns (5.1)

Prologue

Elemental shaman is the only class/spec combination I have ever truly fallen in love with in World of Warcraft. I created my first and most notable shaman in June 2010. She soon became my main, pushing aside the rogue who had lingered in the spotlight for a good while. She has remained my main character to this day, and I don't see that fact changing.

I have raided as an elemental shaman since late Wrath of the Lich King. The information I'm about to present is, in its entirety, acquired through experience, making mistakes and learning from them, and use of common sense. I'm not much of a mathematician, so if you are looking for accurate numbers and calculations, you should turn towards another source of information, such as Mr. Robot.

Elemental shaman is an interesting and active caster with a bunch of options to make influential changes to your playstyle. Playing effectively as an elemental shaman consists of maintaining one damage-over-time spell, keeping track of totems, dealing with short duration cooldowns and filling that relatively bursty rotation with some lightning.


Single target damage

As an elemental shaman, always cast Lightning Shield on yourself and self-enchant your weapon with Flametongue.

Elemental Blast: If you did like me and chose this talent, you should use it as often as possible. It doesn't only hit hard, but also increases your critical strike, haste or mastery rating by 3500 for 8 seconds. Ideally you would hope for haste with mastery as your second best option, but extra crit doesn't hurt you either. Elemental Blast will be your third most damage dealing ability. The major downside of this talent is that the numbers are solid: the worse your gear is, the greater the benefit is, which makes the talent particularly powerful for a shaman that is new to level 90, and less effective for a shaman with raid level gear.

Flame Shock: Your only damage-over-time spell and an extremely important tool when dealing damage to your foes. Whatever you cast after Elemental Blast benefits from the stat boost, which is why you should take as much advantage of it as possible, also by casting Flame Shock afterwards. Always keep Flame Shock active and refreshing a second or two before the last tick. If you have the option to cast Flame Shock on multiple targets that aren't going to die within a few seconds, do it. It will increase the amount of your Lava Surge procs, thus increasing your single target damage.

Lava Burst: What you will do the majority of your damage with. Lava Burst is guaranteed to crit when Flame Shock is active. Cast it as often as possible, and keep in mind that Lava Surge procs make Lava Burst instant, which allows you a moment to move without a loss of DPS time, should you need it.

Lightning Bolt: While Lightning Bolt's importance in an elemental shaman's rotation has constantly decreased, often referred to as a "filler spell", its power shouldn't be underestimated, as it will be responsible for dealing the second most damage of all of your abilities. Cast it when none of the other abilities are available, excluding Earth Shock and Unleash Elements in their own ways (see below for explanation).

Earth Shock: While dealing damage with Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning, you will eventually gain up to seven stacks of Lightning Shield. You should unleash the offensive power of those charges somewhere between five (5) to seven (7) stacks, whatever fits the global cooldown of your shocking best, but make sure not to keep a fully charged Lightning Shield up.

Unleash Elements: Unless you have chosen Unleashed Fury as your level 90 talent, cast Unleash Elements before Lava Burst only when you need to move or need a little bit of extra burst in a short time. If you chose Unleashed Fury, cast Unleash Elements as often as possible, preferably when you know you will be using Lightning Bolt a lot.

Searing Totem: You should have Searing Totem up constantly while damaging a single target, unless you can use Fire Elemental Totem.


AoE damage

Note: This is how I AoE as an elemental shaman and without Glyph of Chain Lightning. I am sure there are differing opinions, but after crawling through a lot of different techniques, I noticed this one having the highest damage output.

Elemental Blast: As with single target damage, you want to get the stat boost from Elemental Blast for AoE as well.

Flame Shock: The idea is to cast Flame Shock on as many targets as possible. It will be more beneficial to cast and refresh Flame Shocks than it would be to use the cooldowns on Earth Shock.

Lava Burst: A critting (guaranteed with Flame Shock) Lava Burst hurts more than a Chain Lightning that hits three targets. With a lot of Flame Shocks active, there will be a lot of Lava Surge procs, which allows you to cast a lot of Lava Bursts.

Chain Lightning: For when Elemental Blast or Lava Burst are not available, or there is no need to recast/refresh Flame Shock.

Magma Totem: Magma Totem deals more damage to two (2) or more targets.

Fire Elemental Totem: Fire elementals do occasional AoE damage as you do it.


Cooldowns

Ascendance: Before activating Ascendance, make sure you have just refreshed Flame Shock and cast Elemental Blast and Lava Burst, and you have not procced Lava Surge. Also make sure you have used all global cooldowns, such as Stormlash Totem or Heroism before Ascendance.

Heroism: Your best known raid-wide cooldown. It's preferable to agree with your raid leader when to use Heroism in each encounter, if its use lies on your shoulders. If you use it for yourself, it's best to use Heroism together with other cooldowns for maximum benefit.
The following macro makes you unable to cast Heroism out of combat, thus saving you from unfortunate accidents.
#showtooltip Heroism
/cast [combat]Heroism

Stormlash Totem: Best used together with Heroism, as they both benefit the entire party. If you use it for yourself, combine it with other cooldowns for maximum benefit. Elementals do not benefit from Stormlash Totem.

Fire Elemental Totem: Your fire elemental benefits from any short term stat increases such as trinkets, Elemental Blast and potions, so the ideal time to use this cooldown is when you have such effects, preferably during Heroism as well. As elementals are on a five (5) minute cooldown, you probably won't get to use them more than a maximum of two times in an encounter.

Earth Elemental Totem: Doesn't provide a major damage increase. Also doesn't taunt raid bosses, so it doesn't hurt to use it during raid encounters. As with the fire counterpart, benefits from short term stat increases. Note that you cannot use both earth and fire elemental at the same time, but they do not share cooldown, so you can use one after another.

Elemental Mastery: The level 60 talent Elemental Mastery is best used together with Ascendance for maximum benefit of the latter, with any possible 2+ minute trinket cooldowns.

Ancestral Swiftness: The level 60 talent Ancestral Swiftness should be used as often as possible, preferably before Elemental Blast or Lava Burst.


Miscellaneous

Solar Beam (Symbiosis): The druid ability Symbiosis grants elemental shamans their silence, Solar Beam, and the druid either Purge, Feral Spirit or Spiritwalker's Grace depending on their specialization. You cannot use Solar Beam to silence raid bosses, but casting it while they are casting a spell interrupts the cast (for example the Spirit Kings of Mogu'shan Vaults).

Wind Shear: The following macro makes you stop casting any other spell when casting your interrupt spell Wind Shear:
#showtooltip Wind Shear
/stopcasting
/cast Wind Shear
The following macro makes you Wind Shear a "focus interrupt." If you have /focused on something, and your current target isn't casting, Wind Shear will interrupt your focus instead. If your target is casting, it will interrupt your target.
#showtooltip Wind Shear
/stopcasting
/cast [target=focus , exists] Wind Shear
/cast Wind Shear


As always, any suggestions, corrections and questions are most welcome.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So apparently they have buffed something for once

The cannons at Domination Point used to tickle at their best, but now they appear to be a tiny bit more potent. This pleases me greatly. I love it when there is something I should fear, something I really want to avoid.


This is a rambling post about mixed subjects, mostly achievements that I and we have been up to of late. First off I will present you with the Darkmoon Rabbit one, That Rabbit's Dynamite! - a smooth midday kill.


On Wednesday we got around to doing the achievement involving Elegon trash in Mogu'shan Vaults. To do the achievement you must have a warden throw you, and anyone else that desires to get the achievement, through the rings aloft the pit. Stand on the control device that Lorewalker Cho stares at before talked to and face the mob towards the giant hole in the floor.


A very annoying part of my WoW life is the need to have a leveling project. I quite enjoy leveling, particularly classes that I haven't played that much before, but it's frustrating when trying to find time for daily chores and alts who are in desperate need of gear. Regardless, I made my warrior Aleksej (comrade Aleksej!) blonde and spent a pretty penny on guild vendor heirlooms to make the journey smoother. After changing his spec from protection to arms I queued for Warsong Gulch, and after playing an arms warrior for the first time in my life, I have a good feeling about it when it comes to PvP. Alek may just be the one to bring my PvP inspiration back, but it's too early to say yet.

Last, and also least in a way when it comes to achievements, but definitely not least when it comes to other aspects of the game, I have a screenshot of an awesome raft party in Krasarang Wilds.

Lanfranco the naga.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

20 Days of WoW blogging #8

Check out Spellbound to learn more about the challenge!

Day 8 – 10 things we don’t know about you

1. My thumbs look completely different. They are different size and shape. The right one resembles my father's thumb, while the left one is more like my mother's.

2. One single hair grows in the middle of my forehead.

3. I'm a supporter of the Green League of Finland.

4. The first game I really played was Loderunner: The Legend Returns, the Sierra re-release from 1994, I think. A Lion King one and Quake II followed shortly.

5. I cast my first ever official vote in favor of a homosexual person. I wanted him as my president.

6. I tend to find racial/national jokes funny. I am not a racist. Feel free to joke about my skin colour or mock my country of origin!

7. I spend a ton of time watching people play games. My personal favorite YouTube video makers/streamers include Lucikka, AdrineX, RandomDR and MrJallu101. I follow a bunch of others, too.

8. I work as a freelance writer. In the future I wish to work around music, games or writing - preferably all three.

9. As a kid I loved dinosaurs. I was crazy about them. I could have sworn to become an archaeologist.

10. I once asked a psychic person about reincarnation. He said he could see two previous lives: one as a pioneer in North-America, eventually violently killed by native Americans, and another as a soldier in a submarine during the second world war.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A couple of dusty screenshots

Just posting a few that were left out of 2012's IntPiPoMo.

Angler's Wharf, Krasarang Wilds

Angler's Wharf, Krasarang Wilds

Angler's Wharf, Krasarang Wilds

Krasarang Wilds/Jade Forest

Friday, January 11, 2013

Brawler's Bug

I haven't looked into this matter any more than I've been forced to, but it's really, really starting to annoy me. You may be familiar with the phenomenon of Brawler's Guild putting multiple people into the arena at the same time. This also means simultaneous boss fights with all their spells and effects restricting your and your fellow brawlers' movement in the area. Well, it's added its own special kind of touch to it previously, but yesterday it went a bit too far in my opinion.

I actually don't know what is going on here, but it shows the two of us in the arena.
I'm a person who doesn't want achievements if I haven't actually earned them. Last night, as I was about to face my last rank six opponent, Unguloxx, I "defeated" the giraffe thing without even having to hit it once. The unfortunate bug was caused by the other person defeating his boss, and likely had something to do with me not having tagged Unguloxx for myself yet - because I simply had no time to do so before I was already thrown out. Although I don't think Unguloxx would have been a challenge to me, I am a bit disappointed and would have rather fought him instead of getting The Second Rule of Brawler's Guild the way I did.

The good news is that rank seven seems a whole lot more interesting than the previous ones.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

May Elune grant us strength for I am hooked on pet battles

After making a new year's resolution regarding daily quests and reputations in the previous post, I am proud to let you know that I have done half of the necessarily dailies once this year. Instead of still attempting to improve my gear for raid progression, I've focused on important things like making cute little creatures fight for the glory and honor of the Alliance. I've battled through Northrend and am about to continue my trek to Pandaria. Some of the more notable things I've caught along the way are a rare quality Clefthoof Runt, Nexus Whelpling. Water Waveling, Imperial Eagle Chick and Fjord Worg Pup, while the Scourged Whelpling remains out of my reach for now. Things don't look all that grim with a certain piece of cloth with me, though. Hail the Argent Crusader's Tabard! Wilba the Sprite Darter Harchling was the first one of my battle pets to reach level 25, while the Nether Faerie Dragon Indiga and Aqil the Dusk Spiderling are right behind him at level 24.

While spending wasting my time pet battling, I picked up one thing. My pets leveled slightly too fast compared to the exploration process. Wilba hit level 25 halfway through Northrend, which is very early considering the pet levels of Pandaria start at 23. If this is intentional, it might be better if people are leveling the whole team, but I found it relatively easy to keep the entire group of three within a couple of levels from each other by having them take part in fights as equally as possible.

I feel like it's been ages since I updated the blog. And it's true, it has been ages. I just haven't felt like there's been much to write about - apart from pet battles, heh. Nevertheless, I've been busy on and off WoW. With the return of a close friend, I made my boosting record of practically throwing him through the entire Cataclysm content in one evening. Boosting levels 81-85 with dungeons took around eight hours. I justly took credit of any "grats" that appeared in the guild chat.

I also managed to level my fourth character up to 90 - around three months after the release of Mists. Leveling the monk was definitely a more enjoyable experience than I would have thought, after having done it three times already. The monk-exclusive experience buff Enlightenment made things a bit faster for an hour each day, but the most important part of any leveling process is enjoyment. I've loved brewmaster all along, but windwalker became a lot of fun after learning Rising Sun Kick. The most incredible part of it all were Jester's amazingly high crits: they were equal to the epic-wearing Nicasia's Lava Burst at level 87.

All in all, I'm looking forward to a couple of future post ideas I have began working on. I'm particularly excited about the fact that they are not about pet battles like pretty much every second post lately... Which is, no doubt, quite unusual of me. /cough