Archive for January, 2012

Epilogue: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on January 22, 2012 by Srsbusiness

January 20, 2012 – The culmination of both individual and group work efforts to achieve a primary and secondary goal reached fruition in the form of a highly sought after item for both pve uses and lore idolatry:

 

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest

 

Yes, at long last I can now call Dragonwrath my own. After 5 years of playing this game, this has been the first legendary I have received, and coincidentally happens to also be practical to use in a raid environment. It has been what has seemed like an eternity since the last time I even mentioned a questline, the last part of this quest chain took a bit longer to complete with the release of Dragon Soul occurring while I was in the midst of siphoning essences.

 

At the last point in the quest line, we had seen that the Blue Dragon Council has called an assembly outside the Nexus in Coldarra to appoint either Arygos or Kaelcgos to the position of Prime Aspect for their respective flight. After wintessing the council meeting, Kalecgos sends you back into the Firelands one last time….. (or so he tells you) to vanquish Ragnaros and to return to him with the Heart of Flame, the last component needed to create a suitable resting place for Tarecgosa.

 

Heart of Flame

 

Unfortunately for you, Kalecgos fails to tell you that you will also need 250 essences from the powerful creatures of the Firelands in addition to the heart. These essences come from the first 6 bosses in the zone on both difficulties, 25 man giving a good deal more than 10 except on heroic. I began collecting my essences on 25 man heroic difficulty midway through November, however we only had three weeks until Dragon Soul came out, so I ended up near halfway done with the number of essences I was collecting. After that, 10 of us went back in and started clearing out the place on heroic, cutting the number of boss kills I needed in half. Siphoning the essences off a boss is not hard, you just need to be in range of said boss and use the effect on your Branch of Nordrassil to siphon the boss. Only one person can siphon a boss before it loses its smouldering effect. While siphoning, your character becomes immobile and you can not manually perform any other action (even logging off) until the channel is complete. The channel effect lasts 9 seconds each time you siphon any number of essences off a boss.

 

Just one of the many bosses you will siphon, in this case, Lord Rhoylith. Uh.... pay no attnetion to that not corpse that you don't see there.

 

To your dismay, you cannot get essences from Ragnaros on either difficulty setting, which leaves you at a maximum of 6 bosses a week, with a maximum of 66 essences a week in 25 man and 48 in 10 man. That about it for essences, the only additional part that you get to have fun with comes from the encounter with Ragnaros himself, once you get 250 essences collected. When you have the 250 essences collected and engage Ragnaros, he will perform an extra yell emote saying that Deathwing has prepared him to face the vessel of Tarecgosa, and will imbue whoever has the 250 essences with a debuff called Rage of Ragnaros.  Rage of Ragnaros itself does not harm you, but instead serves as a nice  buffer for people to treat you as if you were carrying the Bubonic Plague around with you. Every so often, the debuff will trigger a countdown on you that when it reaches 0, will deal 50-65k fire damage to all allies within 10 yards of you. If you manage to die while having this buff, you will be unable to loot or spawn the heart of flame that comes from the pool of lava Ragnaros submerges in when the fight is over, so you do need to survive the encounter, even if you are the last one up. The heart of flame you need to loot will spawn in the middle of the pool of lava and look like a small fiery ball floating just above the surface of the lava. You will need your healers to spam heal you while you swim out and click on the gear box that highlights when you are in range of it to loot your heart and complete the quest.

 

Your Branch of Nordassil and 250 essences meets Ragnaros, the root of the problem. Hmmm.... tree puns in one caption.

 

Success!

 

You proceed to return to Stormwind or Orgrimmar to Hallegosa, a special phased NPC that only people on the Heart of Flame quest can see in their respective districts to turn in your heart and accept on final quest, The Stuff of Legends, upon which a grand Blue Dragon ceremony will start in either city occupying  most of the visible air space, its really hard to miss unless your camera is set to be facing down all the time.

 

The Stuff of Legends

 

This quest is pretty straight forward, you follow Hallegosa over to the left of Stormwind Cathedral where a hover disc, like in the Malygos encounter, comes down to pick you up and take you to above the city where the blue dragons are flying. Your image will be projected onto the skyline with you riding Tarecgosa for a 2 hour duration, so pick out your best transmog set, evening wear or leotard, up to you! However, as of the 4.3 patch, you will need to remove yourself from any raid group before getting credit for the last part of the quest of witnessing the blue dragonflight ceremony in either city. Do not worry though, if you turn it it while in a raid, Hallegosa will respawn shortly after you descend from the platform and you will able to drop the quest and pick it up again for completion outside of a raid group. Unfortunately for me, my plan for using a disguise a top did not come to fruition ans the disguise was kicked off as soon as I got onto the platform and began to rise towards the dragons. I had wanted to model as a tree of life using a potion of illusion as I handed the quest it and mounted theplatform. The end result will look something like this, albeit, not as cheesy:

 

Shadow Tree didnt turn out so well, Horatio.... Mane? instead of that.

 

If you have reached this point, congratulations! You are now the proud owner of the best caster staff in the game to date, you also have access to Tarecgosa’s Visage, and effect that turns you into the avatar of Tarecgosa, making you a flying blue dragon mount, making you the center of attention for all your blue dragon lore buff friends. Lets see just what exactly this thing is capable of now.

 

The Care and Feeding of Your Dragonwrath

 

While the stats, gem sockets and secondary bonuses of Dragonwrath are on par and slightly ahead of normal Dragon Soul level gear, the feature of this staff is that whenever you deal damage you have a chance to instantly duplicate the damage dealt of the spell. This is a proc that was effectively nerfed in the 4.3 patch but still sis a very powerful bonus that will provide a marked increase in output. I ran two tests to see how the proc fared on a single target and two target encounter, I ended the test when I ran out of mana on each pass. For the two target fight:

 

A fairly healthy boost to damage from a proc alone.

 

And for the single target fight:

 

Even better in this case.

 

At around a 6.5-7% value of your total damage, this item alone takes someone who does 30,000 dps on a fight and boosts them to between 31,950-32,100 dps just from the proc alone, it is certainly something for any caster to considering finishing if they are using a non-heroic DS weapon if they want to see some slightly better numbers on their own end (and you have a great group of guild mates who enjoy going back to Firelands on nights off). But dont take it for granted, Dragonwrath is also something that should only be used in the hands of a trained professional, as one wrong move could spell trouble for nearby allies. Also, feel free to head directly into your nearest battleground upon completion of this, your local healers will flock to you like Snooki flocks to a free Kashmir handbag. And watch the carnage unfold.

 

Faceroll with friends.

 

The Mount Special has quite the unique sound clip.

 

I know what you're thinking. Did I cast one spell or two? Well. In all this excitement I've lost track myself, so you have to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well. do you friend?

 

Thank you again to everyone who helped with the process of this, it was well worth the wait, and without those people, it would be not have been possible!

Shadow Word: Death and You – Getting to Know the Good and Bad of Tier 13

Posted in Priest, PvE, WoW on January 2, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Sometimes Blizzard hits it right on the nose when it comes to assigning set bonuses for classes on tier armor (like tier 10, I miss you), and other times they miss completely (4 piece tier 11, because really who doesn’t love 30% more damage on a miniscule 12% proc chance). Coming from tier 12, where I thought Blizzard did a good job on both the 2-set (+20% fire damage and -75 seconds to shadowfiend) and the 4-set (+15% [it was previously +25% before 4.3] damage to Mind Blast when all your dots are on one target), I believe Blizzard both hit and missed on the tier 13 bonuses for shadow priests. It has been a while since I have talked about anything priest related on here, but after having recently acquired my 2-set tier 13 bonus, I feel as if I can give an accurate opinion on the bonuses. Lets take a look at what Blizzard has given us for bonuses this tier:

 

(2) – Increases the damage you deal with your Shadow Word: Death by 55% and reduces the damage you take when your Shadow Word: Death fails to kill your target by 95%.

 

(4) – Whenever your Shadowy Apparitions and Shadowfiend deal damage, you have a 100% chance to instantly gain 3 Shadow Orbs.

 

While it doesn’t state it in the bonus, the 2-set bonus increases the damage of Shadow Word: Death at all times, not just in execute phase. However, due to the relatively low damage it deals outside of execute range, it is probably best to avoid using it, unless you desperately need to regain some mana back from your masochism talent. The 2-set bonus is the one I believe that Blizzard got right, however, in order for you to get it, you will have to give up your previous 4 set bonus if you had it from tier 12. I believe that this is a good tradeoff for any shadow priest in the long run, the numbers do not lie either.

 

Damage Breakdown in WoL

 

Above is the last WoL parse for the damage I did in a raid setting, the two abilities to focus on being Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death. If you do not have your four piece shadow tier bonus from tier 12, the 2 piece tier 13 is a huge upgrade, get it. If you have the 4 set bonus, this comparison is for you. Even with the slight upgrade to intellect and stamina from 391 to 397 gear, lets see what the damage difference is using 4 piece tier 12 versus 2 piece tier 13. This parse was taken with me wearing the 4 piece bonus, so:

 

Mind Blast Damage: 7,879,616, this damage becomes 15% less by going to the 2 set tier 13 bonus, so the adjusted damage will be: 7,879,616 x .85 = 6,697,674 for a loss of  1,181,942 damage from that spell, however, your shadow word: death will now hit 55% harder:

 

Shadow Word: Death Damage: 2,734,866 increased by 55% with the 2 set tier 13 bonus to become: 2,734,866 x 1.55 = 4,239,042 the new, adjusted damage for Shadow Word: Death yields an increase of 4,239,042 – 2,734,866 = 1,504,176. This number is also a bit lower than the actual gain due to slightly increased levels of intellect and a small amount of critical strike chance that comes from the tier 13 gear that I am not using at the time of this parse.

 

Overall you gain: 1,504,176 – 1,181,942 = 322,234 damage, and I am going to round this up to 375,000 damage from the increased stats of tier 13. Adding this damage to the previous total of 54, 174,339 damage for the night we get a percentage gain of (375000/54,174,339) x 100 = 0.692 or a .7% damage gain by going from your tier 12 4 piece to your tier 13 2 piece, but wait the good news doesn’t end here.

Your healers can now breathe easier watching your health in those fights where those green life bars are fluctuating constantly. Yes, the days of holding back using Shadow Word: Death on Ultraxion and Madness of Deathwing are long gone with the second part of the set bonus reducing the recoil damage taken by an additional 95% (its already reduced by 40% from the Mind Melt talent). I mean its not like I ruthlessly mashed my Shadow Word: Death button on those fights and ended up killing myself with recoil (more than once)……. nope, haven’t the slightest clue what it is like to do something like that.

 

An adamant masochist at his best!

 

The only thing that will be focused on in this part is damage taken from Shadow Word: Death in relation to the post, other elements, like degenerative bite, can be avoided by not prematurely mind searing on your tanks when bloods spawn in the Madness encounter. I took 1,330,879 damage from recoil from my Shadow Word: Death, and with the set bonus, the damage I now take becomes:

1,330,879 x .05 = 66,544, or 1,264,335  less damage taken, allowing heals to focus elsewhere in the execute phase. In addition, Shadow Word: Was about 20% of the damage I took over the course of the night, it drops to < 1% with the set bonus. There are also a few things you can do with your spec to help reduce your damage taken and strain on your healers, give this a look if you are considering trying out shadow in a raid setting. Onto the second tier bonus for tier 13.

 

This bonus I am not sold on. The bonus itself SOUNDS great, but using it in a practical manner is much harder. The shadowy apparitions part granting you three shadow orbs is not the main reason why I dislike the bonus, on the first picture Ive had Shadow Word: Pain tick 549 times on the night, leading me to gain (on average) 549 x .12 or 65.88 (66) procs of 3 shadow orbs from my shadowy apparitions. The main problem I dislike about this is the sheer amount of wasted orbs we get when our shadowfiend is out. We cannot ever exceed having more than 3 shadow orbs at once, which means in order to get the maximum effect from this bonus in regards to shadowfiend, we need to find a way to use those orbs before we get the next set of three, and the only way to do that is to use the much maligned, Mind Spike. Here are some things to consider about your shadowfiend:

1) Its attack speed is 1.5 seconds, with an effect like windfury, hunting party, or icy talons, its attack speed drops to 1.35 seconds.

2) In order to not have the possibility of missing out on orb procs, the cast speed of your Mind Spike or Mind Blast has to be less than 1.35 seconds with your haste.

3) With the melee haste buff, your shadowfiend will deal 12 attacks in a 15 second period, 11 attacks after its deployed, and it attacks as soon as you cast it.

4) Your shadowfiend has no expertise or hit, it can miss, be dodged from behind, and parried when you cast it, since the AI places it in front of the boss.

 

The only good thing I can see out of this is that, the number of attacks you do will match up evenly with the number of attacks your shadowfiend does. (3 Mind Spikes and then Mind Blast, 3 times over to get 12 attacks). Of course, you miss out on not having your dots up for the duration of your shadowfiend, you will also not refresh your dark evangelism stacks since you wont be casting mind flay either. This just seems really clunky to me, if Blizzard wanted us to function like shadow mages, they would not have given us 5 damage over time effects, and more single target nukes, especially ones that DON’T REMOVE ALL YOUR DAMAGE OVER TIME EFFECTS. I am right now sold on getting both the 2 piece tier 13 bonus and matching it up with (preferably heroic) tier 12 bonus to allow you to use your shadowfiend more, with more damage coming from it. If you cant get the 2 set to tier 12 though, similar 397 pieces that are not tier related should serve you well in your damage dealing adventures.

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