Guild Wars 2 This Week: Events – Good or Bad? Plus more

Is Guild Wars 2 dying? Hell, no. Indeed, looking at the enduring popularity of the game in the blogosphere, I’d say that two months in it has solidly established itself as the #2 MMO out there, behind only World of Warcraft – and that’s with a recent WoW expansion.

This week, we’ve got a great class summary – which I must admit I’m partially featuring in the hopes it’ll persuade people to write more similar guides – some discussion of the pros and cons of dynamic events, and a quick look at the holiday event that’s happening right now…

  • Syp takes a look at the Halloween event, from the gameplay to the awesome atmosphere” It’s awesome to see this as ArenaNet’s first big update, and it’s quite sizable, if scattered and somewhat hard to suss out where to go to experience all of the new stuff.”
  • Syl writes a hearty defence of Guild Wars 2’s dynamic events system, comparing the gameplay it produces to that of last year’s megahit RPG Skyrim“I don’t want to be on time for all the dynamic events in GW2. I want to be early and too late, so that when I am on time at last the scenery will take my breath away.”
  • Zubon writes a really excellent summary of how Elementalists feel to play – if you’ve been considering this class at all, I’d strongly advise giving this one a read“You will love this class if you draw satisfaction from seeing others succeed. You will hate this class if you play a lot of underwater content, if you compare your damage to others, or if you need to see the big numbers on your screens rather than the combo effects telling you they are on others’ screens.”
  • And Spinks takes a contrarian view of Guild Wars 2’s big events, saying it’s very hard to take them seriously“It is very typical of the GW2 experience that you might run off to pick vegetables in the middle of a boss fight. Even though you know perfectly well the veg will still be there afterwards, because all material nodes are shared.”

How’s Guild Wars 2 treating you – or tricking you – this week?

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WoW Enchanting Rods Guide

If you’re levelling Enchanting, you’ve probably realised you’re going to go through expensive materials like you wouldn’t believe. You may even have bought in vast supplies of dusts and essences. But there’s one element to Enchanting you may not have properly considered, and it’s brought me up short more than once – Rods.

As you go through your enchanting levelling, you’ll also go through a vast number of rods of different materials and expense levels. Some of them will be very cheap and easy to aquire – but most of them can be an unexpected stumbling block. A Runed Elementium Rod, for example – which you’ll need not just to level but also to create most of the profitable Cataclysm enchants – will set you back 70-odd gold from the AH for the Rod alone, and a further 950g or so for the materials.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimise the pain…

General Rod Tips

Oo and indeed er.

When you’re preparing your Road To 525 Enchanting:

  • Get ALL your rods made in advance by a friendly blacksmith. Any 525 blacksmith should be able to craft all the rods – although some of them, like the Eternium Rod, will require a short trip to aquire the recipe. A guildie will be your best bet.
  • Watching the AH for cheap materials. A lot of elements of the enchanting rod tree – notably the Pearls, the Arcanite, and some of the other metals – are kinda rare just because very few people bother listing them. It’s also worth scouring your guild bank and asking guildies if they have spares of some of the rarer items – people often accumulate them because they’re so hard to sell.
  • If you can get a miner to help you, it’ll make aquiring some of the materials much easier. Likewise, an alchemist can make you the Arcanite, which you’ll probably pay through the nose for otherwise.
  • Remember – you need ALL of the rods. You can’t skip some of them – that may have been possible some time ago, but these days, each rod requires the rod before it to allow it to be made.

The Rods Themselves

  • Runed Copper Rod – Trivial. You can aquire all the items you need from vendors.
  • Runed Silver Rod – Likewise trivial. There’s usually silver on the AH – it may be in ore form, as miners use it to level up.
  • Runed Golden Rod – The hard bit here may be the Irridescent Pearl, but they’re a fairly common drop.
  • Runed Truesilver Rod – Welcome to your first hurdle. The tricky bit here is the Black Pearl. It may seem tempting to grind for one if the prices on the AH are 50g or more – don’t. The drop rate is horrible. However, if you can’t find one on the AH, you’re off to farm.
  • Runed Arcanite Rod – You can save a lot of money here by getting your Arcanite transmuted by an alchemist. It’s not on cooldown for them any more, and Arcane Crystals drop like flies for miners.
  • Runed Fel Iron Rod – Fel Iron tends to be very, very expensive as it’s by far the hardest “common” metal to aquire. You can sometimes get bargains on the ore in particular – watch the AH like a hawk. It is NOT worth mining for it, though – takes ages.
  • Runed Adamantite Rod – the quite, quite horrible bit here is the Primal Might. Hopefully someone on your server will have realised there’s a profit in selling them to Enchanters – check early in your levelling to find out if this is the case. Otherwise, you’re going to have to collect all the Primal elements – it’s doable to farm them, particularly at 85 – and then pay an alchemist. Again, this is no longer on CD.
  • Runed Eternium Rod – Eternium crops up rarely and randomly. By far your best bet here is to buy the rod ready-made if you can’t find the materials quickly – it’s entirely possible for weeks to pass without seeing any Eternium on the AH.
  • Runed Titanium Rod – Watch the Titanium ore as well as bars – it can often be 5 or 10 times cheaper. You can mine for this if all else fails, in Wintergrasp – but it’ll likely take 30 mins or so.
  • Runed Elementium Rod – And you’re there! This one’s the easiest of the list by far, at least in Cataclysm. Buy, make, profit!

Any Rod tips we should know about? Ahaaha, I see what you did there. Comment below!

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Introducing: The Pot’s new “Help the noob in your LFD run” Quick Guides

Herp. Derp.

We’ve all had him in our run. The hunter in cloth attacking in melee. The mage who didn’t understand what CC was. The Death Knight who – well, frankly, there are too many Bad Memories connected to Death Knights to list.

These people tend to get referred to in very harsh terms. But often they’re clearly not malicious or idiots – they’re just newer players who haven’t had a chance to learn all the arcane stuff that us old hands consider obvious. And let’s face it – we’ve all been him or her at one point in our WoW careers.

“mage CC the adds and aoe when tank has aggro” – I remember a time when that sort of thing in a dungeon run sent me into a panic. What? Huh? What am I meant to do?

If you’re anything like the MMO Melting Pot team, you often end up feeling quite sorry for the new player in your run. But at the same time, it’s a hell of a lot of work to help them out and correct all their mistakes, all for someone you’ll never see again.

Hence our project of the last week: the MMO Melting Pot “noob guides”.

We’ve put together a dozen comprehensive, easy to read, easy to follow lists of all the mistakes we could possibly think of that newer players might make. They’re all nicely formatted and easy to navigate around, and they should help almost any new player to up their game.

We’ve included very simplified rotations (for the warlock who’s doing 2k at level 85), reasoning and suggestions on gear and how to get it (for the level 45 priest who’s still wearing grey gear), explanations of why you really really shouldn’t be in Blood Presence for the DK who insists it’s a DPS spec, the whole nine yards.

Here they are: Easy guides for newer WoW players

Please do hand the URL out to any newer players you meet – hopefully it’ll mean both less confusion for them and better DPS and less aggro problems for you!

**What do you think? Do you like this idea? Is there something we missed?

Also – please do retweet these, link to them from your blogs, and let guildies know about them in your forums! We’d really like to get this resource to help new players out there – and maybe get one or two of them reading WoW blogs in the bargain!

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Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith tactics

Another day, another two-phase Firelands boss. You won’t be able to phone this one in, though. You’re going to need tactics. Lord Rhyolith is a boss you can drive. For real. You’ll get to control his direction of movement, and you’ll get to do so in the best way possible: by hitting him as hard as you can until he pays attention.

Division of labor

You’ll only need one tank for this fight. She’ll be tanking the adds that Rhyolith will summon. See our main Lord Rhyolith tanking guide.

Lord Rhyolith himself does not need to be tanked. In fact, for most of the fight he won’t be doing any direct melee damage. All of your melee DPS should be assigned to damage Rhyolith. As we’ll see below, doing so will also enable them to steer Rhyolith in specific directions.

Ranged DPS will be dealing with the adds as they appear. You’ll need concentrated single-target DPS for Sparks of Rhyolith and AoE DPS for Fragments of Rhyolith.

As you’d expect, you’ll need a dedicated healer for the tank. Raid healing will involve countering the regular raid-wide fire damage that Rhyolith throws out, as well as damage caused by the summoned adds and the various don’t-stand-in-it areas on the floor. Our guide to healing Lord Rhyolith has more details of the healing strategies for this fight.

The fire

Let’s get the Obligatory Fire Into Which Thou Shalt Not Stand out of the way first. Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. As well as causing a chunk of raidwide damage and knocking your melee DPS to the floor, this ability will create 2 or 3 volcanoes on the ground.

Volcanoes occasionally erupt, causing (yet more) raidwide fire damage, but they will be destroyed if Rhyolith steps on them. When that happens, they’ll turn into a crater, and that’s when the fire starts.

As soon as a crater is created, it will emit Lava streams. There will be either 4, 5 or 6 streams coming from each crater, and they’ll head outwards in all directions. Standing in a lava stream causes damage. After 10 seconds, the lava steams will explode, causing additional damage to anybody standing in them.

Once a crater and its lava streams have exploded, it will turn into a lava pool, which is just a regular pool of fire on the floor that should not be stood in.

The adds

Rhyolith will summon adds every 20-25 seconds. The tank should pick them up, and the ranged DPS should take them down.

Fragments of Rhyolith are summoned in packs of 5. They need to be killed within 30 seconds or they’ll charge a random raid member and explode, dealing damage.

Sparks of Ryolith spawn one at a time, but will need to be tanked away from the raid in order to avoid their AoE damage.

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To get a more detailed understanding of the adds in this fight, read our guide to fighting Lord Rhyolith as ranged DPS and our guide to tanking Lord Rhyolith.

Who’s driving this thing?

To get an understanding of how to steer Rhyolith, take a look at our detailed guide to fighting Lord Rhyolith as melee DPS.

You should assign one player to be the ‘driver’ for Rhyolith. The driver’s job is to call out the current DPS target, and by doing so steer Rhyolith in the correct direction. Obviously, this is going to be much easier to do over a voice chat channel, but it can be done with raid warnings instead if you have a fast typing speed or lots of prepared macros.

The tanks is a good potential choice to also be the driver. Although she won’t be part of the team steering Rhyolith, her tanking duties in this fight are pretty non-taxing, so she’ll be free to call directions.

Your raid will arrive at their own best solution for calling directions, but a good basic system is to use the following five instructions:

  • Straight: all DPS on left and right feet should cease. You can continue damaging Rhyolith by targetting his body.
  • Left: melee DPS should all target Rhyolith’s left foot.
  • Right: melee DPS should all target Rhyolith’s right foot.
  • Hard Left: melee DPS should all target Rhyolith’s left foot. Ranged DPS should temporarilly switch from DPSing the adds to target Rhyolith’s left foot as well.
  • Hard Right: melee DPS should all target Rhyolith’s right foot. Ranged DPS should temporarilly switch from DPSing the adds to target Rhyolith’s right foot as well.

An alternative tactic is to divide the melee DPS into two groups: left and right. The left group attacks the left foot and the right group attacks the right foot. If the two groups have approximately equal DPS, this should balance out and cause Rhyolith to head in a straight line. When you need to turn him to the left, the right foot team temporarilly switch to the left foot. The left foot team simply continue to DPS the left foot (and vice-versa for turning right).

As a first priority, the driver should make sure that Rhyolith never reaches the lava at the edge of the platform. That’s where he’ll head if you don’t interfere, and once he gets there he’ll vomit hot lava all over your raid. That’s a guaranteed wipe.

The driver also needs to cause Rhyolith to stand on as many of the volcanoes as possible. When Rhyolith stands on a volcano, it turns into a crater, but more importantly it destroys a piece of Rhyolith’s armor. The faster his armor is destroyed, the quicker you’ll arrive at Phase 2.

The ultimate Burn Phase

Once you manage to reduce Rhyolith’s health to 25%, he’ll enter Phase 2, which is a burn phase in every possible sense. Rhyolith’s damage to the tank, and to the entire raid, will gradually increase, so the aim is to kill him before the damage becomes unmanageable.

He’ll continue to cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds, which will cause damage and also cause a knockback on everybody near him. Other than that slight irritation, this phase should be easy. Cycle your healing and tanking cooldowns, pop Bloodlust/Heroism/Timewarp, and let your DPS give it everything they’ve got. He’ll soon be a molten fire-filled corpse, out of which you’ll be able to pluck some inexplicably well-preserved epic items.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith heroic tactics

If you thought the Lord Rhyolith fight just wasn’t chaotic enough on normal mode, then you’re going to love the heroic version. If your raid is ready to tackle the Big Boy version of Lord Rhyolith, heroic tactics can be found below, in our easy guide.

Read our main guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics if you need a refresher on the basics of this fight.

Have you seen this boy?

When Rhyolith steps on a volcano in heroic mode, his armor is not outright destroyed. He loses the armor (and the buff it provides) as usual, but he will then spawn 10 pieces of Liquid Obsidium. These adds will move slowly towards Rhyolith. If they reach him, they’ll Fuse with him and restore some of his armor.

The Liquid Obsidium can be slowed, and can also be knocked back with spells such as Typhoon.

If you have enough DPS, you can simply kill these adds. If not, you’ll just need to keep them away from the boss.

Even more adds

Add control becomes very important in the heroic version of this fight. You’ll might find (particularly for the 25-man version) that you need two tanks.

Rhyolith will create 10 Fragments of Rhyolith each time, rather than 5. Sparks of Rhyolith will still be created one at a time. You’ll find this fight easier if most of your DPS are ranged rather than melee, and you’ll be relying on your ranged DPS to intelligently switch between targeting the adds and targeting Rhyolith’s legs.

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In Soviet Russia, fire stands on you

The rest of the fight continues as it does in the normal mode, and you’ll still hit Phase 2 at 25%. There’s an additional enrage timer imposed on you in heroic mode: if you take more than 5 minutes to get Rhyolith to Phase 2, he’ll enter the final phase with a buff called Superheated.

Superheated increases his damage by 10%, which is bad enough, but it also increases in strength every 10 seconds. That’ll really leave a mark, so during Phase 1 it’s important to keep up the DPS on Rhyolith as well as managing the adds.

Another addition to Phase 2 is Lord Rhyolith’s use of Unleashed Flame. When he uses this ability, he’ll create beams of fire which will chase random players. Don’t get too close to them – they do AoE damage. Thankfully they don’t move very quickly, so they can be avoided by clever use of the ‘W’ key.

You’ll probably find this fight utterly chaotic the first time you attempt it, but the key lies in the balance between add control and keeping up the damage on the boss. With practice, patience and a cool head, it’s easily achievable.

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Firelands Boss Guides – Beth’tilac Tactics

Beth’tilac is a huge, fiery spider, and one of the first bosses your raid will encounter in the Firelands raid. A love of killing spiders will only getting you so far when fighting Beth’tilac – tactics are what you need. Never fear: we’ve got the strategy in our handy guide.

Setup and initial positioning

The Beth’tilac fight will require you to split your raid into two teams. It’s rather like The Apprentice, only with (hopefully) more general competance.

Team Ground will be staying on the ground level and dealing with the adds that spawn during the fight. Team Web will be moving up to Beth’tilac’s web, suspended above the ground level, to get some action on Beth’tilac herself.

The precise division of raid members to each group will depend on how many players you need in Team Ground, but a good default setup is:

  • For a 10-man raid, Team Ground should consist of 1 tank, 2 healers, and 3 DPS. Team Web will therefore consist of 1 tank, 1 healer and 2 DPS.
  • For a 25-man raid, Team Ground should consist of 5 healers, 1 tank and 9-10 DPS, leaving Team Web made up of 1 tank, 1 or 2 healers and the rest of your DPS.

You should drop three raid markers on the ground level – one for each corner of the room except for the south west corner. Team Ground‘s DPS specialists will need those markers when Cinderweb Spiderlings start to appear (take a look at our guide to Beth’tilac as Ranged DPS for full details).

You might not be able to quite reach each corner to drop raid markers before the fight starts. If that’s the case, make sure to assign someone from Team Ground to drop the markers right after the pull.

Team Ground should position themselves in the south-west corner (although Team Ground healers may wish to stand right in the center of the room). Team Web will be making their collective way up to the web level as soon as they’re able.

As soon as the fight starts, Beth’tilac will run away like the cowardly shifty spider she is. She’ll go lurk on the web level and start throwing AoE damage down onto the entire raid, in the form of Venom Rain. This can really do some damage, so it’s important to get Team Web right up in her face as soon as possible.

When the fight starts, Smolderweb Spinners will start to spawn. Initially they’ll appear suspended from the base of Beth’tilac’s web, so get your tanks (and any other players who have taunt abilities) to start taunting them down to the ground.

A dead Spinner will leave behind a spider’s thread (which takes the form of a thin red line leading from the corpse to the web level). These threads are vehicles, and you can use them to move from the ground level to the web level. Each thread is only good for a single use.

As soon as the first thread appears, your main tank should use it to get up to the web level. The Team Web healer should follow on the next thread, then the rest of the Team Web.

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Go Team Web!

Once you’ve all made it to the web level, the only mob Team Web have to worry about is Beth’tilac herself. Watch out for Meteor Burn, during which Beth’tilac drops flaming meteors onto random spots on the web. Each meteor is preceeded by an indicator in the form of a fiery orange circle on the ground, which you should be sure to dodge. Check out our Beth’tilac melee DPS guide for full details of the Team Web tasklist.

Beth’tilac has an energy bar (Fire Energy) which slowly depletes throughout the fight. Once it hits zero, she’ll begin to cast Smoldering Devastation which will kill any players on the web level stone cold dead. It’s an 8-second cast, so take the opportunity as soon as you see it coming to jump down the hole in the middle of Beth’tilac’s web and go join Team Ground for a moment.

Once Smoldering Devastation has finished, Cinderweb Spinners will once again start to spawn. Kill them, steal their threads, and get back up to the web level.

Go Team Ground!

There’s no need to deal with Beth’tilac if you’re on the ground during the first fight, but sadly you’ll have a whole sackful of additional nasty spiders to manage instead. There are three types of add: Cinderweb Spinners, which you’ve already seen at the very start of the fight, Cinderweb Drones and Cinderweb Spiderlings.

Cinderweb Spinners should be taunted and DPS’ed as soon as they appear. Killing them gives access to spider’s threads to get Team Web up where they belong. Watch out for the webs that Spinners occasionally throw out. Once a player becomes encased in a web, she’ll be unable to perform any action until she’s freed.

Cinderweb Drones should be tanked by the Team Ground tank, and faced away from the rest of the raid in order to avoid their nasty cone attack. Drones have energy bars just like Beth’tilac, so be sure to kill them before their energy reaches zero. If that happens, they’ll head up to the web level and leech some energy from Beth’tilac, reducing the time until the next Smoldering Devastation is cast.

Cinderweb Spiderlings can – and should – be slowed, then DPS’ed into spidery oblivion. If a Spiderling reaches a Drone, the Drone will consume the Spiderling and be healed. Beth’tilac will also eat any Spiderlings that get within range of her at the start of Phase 2 (healing her for 10% for each spider).

To get a detailed breakdown of exactly what Team Ground should be doing, read our guide to killing Beth’tilac as ranged DPS.

Phase 2

In the absence of a really big drinking glass and a piece of card the size of a house, your only option is to kill the spider. A rolled-up newspaper isn’t going to do the trick here – you’re going to have to hit her with everything you’ve got.

Phase 2 comes after Beth’tilac has done Smoldering Devastation 3 times. At this point Team Web should have brought her down to about 75% health. Beth’tilac will descend from the web level to the ground level. The entire raid should now be on the ground level and ready to bring the pain. Everybody except the tanks should stack up behind the boss. The tanks need to spread out in order not to throw AoE damage onto the rest of the raid – see our guide to tanking Beth’tilac and, if necessary, healing Beth’tilac.

The first priority when Phase 2 starts is to finish off any remaining adds. Once they’re gone, you can burn down Beth’tilac with extreme prejudice. Her damage will slowly increase over time, effectively providing a soft enrage.

She also casts a debuff on the main tank, called The Widows’s Kiss. This is a stacking debuff which gradually reduces the amount of healing the target can receive, until the tank can barely be healed at all. The main tank and off-tank should tankswap every 20 seconds to allow the debuff to expire.

The key to this fight is getting the correct balance between Team Web and Team Ground. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations if your raid isn’t managing the fight as well as you’d hope. Once you’ve cracked the balance, and each team knows their role, that big spider will be curled up in a ball ready to wash down the plughole before you know it.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Healing Shannox

Shannox, along with his two pet dogs, is one of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raids. Although not the hardest boss in terms of healing, Shannox will definitely require your healing team to be on the ball.

As you’ll see from our detailed guides to Shannox strategy, this is a two-phase fight. The first phase requires you to keep healing your assigned targets while avoiding Shannox’s traps. The second phase is a burn phase during which Shannox will be pumping out truly shocking amounts of damage. Your job during that second phase is to help your raid cling on to life until the DPS can take Shannox down.

A lot of the damage in this fight will be Fire damage, so fire resistance buffs are mandatory.

Starting positions

The fight consists of three mobs, all of whom you’ll be fighting at once. The main tank will be on Shannox, with the off-tank taking Riplimb some distance away. Rageface can’t be tanked, so he’ll be running amok through your raid. Spread out at the start of the fight. Ranged DPS will be doing the same.

Things not to stand in (spoiler alert – one of them is fire)

Shannox will regularly drop _Immolation Trap_s and _Crystal Prison Trap_s. Both of these look like standard Hunter traps, so they’re easy to spot. You should avoid standing in either of them. The _Immolation Trap_s will do fire damage, but the _Crystal Prison Trap_s will prevent you from performing any action at all until the rest of the raid frees you. Getting a healer caught in a trap like that can often mean an unexpected meeting with the spirit healer, so watch where you stand.

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Shannox will frequently throw his spear in the direction of Riplimb. Any player standing in that spot when the spear lands is dead, so move out of the way as soon as you see the indicator appear (it’s a big fiery circle on the ground).

Once the spear has been thrown, there’s a secondary effect – a lot of smaller, one hit only, fires on the ground. Avoid standing directly on those and they won’t trigger.

Healing the tanks

As well as regular melee damage, both tanks will quickly acquire the debuff Jagged Tear. Not only is this a DoT, it can stack, so you’ll need to be ready to compensate with sparkly feelgood green HoTs.

The tanks should be coordinating so that Jagged Tear drops off when Shannox throws his spear. This will give you a bit of breathing space , but be prepared for Jagged Tear to start stacking up again soon afterwards.

Healing the raid

Shannox does a Cleave attack, which in an ideal world shouldn’t hit anyone other than the main tank, but be prepared for melee DPS to be accidentally caught in the cone from time to time. You know what they’re like.

It’s also a good bet that some players will trigger an Immolation Trap, especially during the first few attempts at this boss. The trap will do immediate fire damage, plus additional fire damage over the next three seconds. It will also apply a debuff which lowers the target’s fire resistance.

When Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability lands, it’ll do a nasty 50k damage to everyone, which will need to be healed through. Watch out for the fiery explosions which come immediately afterwards, too, in case some raid members get caught out.

_Crystal Prison_s will be being triggered fairly regularly. Be aware that these block line-of-sight, so you may need to move to continue healing your target.

Off the leash

Rageface will be another source of continuous damage to your raid. He’ll target a random raid member and start to do serious amounts of damage. Your raid leader or healing leader will probably assign one healer specifically to track Rageface’s targets, and heal them through the damage.

Final phase

If everything’s gone according to plan, your raid will kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. At that point, Shannox will enrage. Expect the damage to the tanks to increase significantly. Your healing cooldowns should be saved for this phase if you possibly can. Coordinate with your tanks, too – they should be cycling mitigation cooldowns during this final phase.

Shannox will no longer be throwing his spear, but will instead regularly cast Magma Rupture, which does AoE fire damage and also increases the amount of fire damage taken. Be prepared for the main tank to die during this phase, even if your healing is top notch: it’s a difficult phase to endure unscathed.

That final phase can be a bit hair-raising, but if your DPS team are on the ball it shouldn’t last too long.

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Firelands Boss Guides – Shannox tactics

Welcome to the Firelands! It’s full of fire. You probably shouldn’t stand in it. The initial few bosses of the Firelands raid can be killed in any order, but the first one most raids attempt is Shannox. Tactics for this big bully and his fiery pets are simple, once you’ve got the hang of the fight mechanics.

Here’s our top tips guide to killing Shannox … and his little dawgs too.

Preparation

Shannox patrols throughout the middle area of the raid, with his two dogs Riplimb and Rageface. Before pulling Shannox, you should clear all the trash around the central area of the map.

You’ll need two tanks for this fight; one for Shannox and one for Riplimb. Rageface can’t be tanked – he’ll attack raid members at random, and generally cause a nuisance.

Things not to stand in

Shannox will regularly drop traps on the ground. These should be avoided at all costs. There are two types of trap – _Immolation Trap_s and _Crystal Fire Trap_s. Importantly, Shannox is not a very considerate pet owner, so his traps can (and will) affect Riplimb and Rageface as well as affecting players. Each trap will only affect one player (or dog), so once triggered will do no further damage.

_Immolation Trap_s cause fire damage. _Crystal Prison Trap_s encase their target in a crystal block, rendering the target incapable of performing any action until freed. If a raid member accidentally becomes trapped, DPS should switch to free them. The crystal prisons have a high health pool, so it’ll take several seconds of sustained DPS to destroy them.

Shannox will also regularly throw his spear to somewhere near Riplimb. Any player caught by the spear when it lands will be killed outright, so be sure to move away as soon as you see the indicator appear. It takes the form of a big red circle on the ground, and it’s easy to spot.

Once the spear throw has gone off, the ground will be covered with lots of little fiery explosions. They appear in a spiral pattern emanating from where the spear landed. Make sure not to be standing on them. Note that they don’t have any AoE effect, so there’s no need to move away from the spiral completely, just be sure not to be standing directly on one of the small fires.

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Playing dog-catcher

The sight of Shannox’s spear flying over his head is too much for Riplimb, and his doggie instincts take over. He’ll stop what he’s doing to chase the stick, grabbing it in his mouth and running back to Shannox to return it. You should spoil Riplimb’s fun by trapping him in a Crystal Prison Trap, thereby allowing your tanks a precious few seconds’ relief from the Ragged Tear debuff that both Shannox and Riplimb apply. Check out our detailed guide to tanking Shannox for more information.

Balancing act

Your eventual aim is to kill both dogs at roughly the same time. To complicate matters even further, you need to do this when Shannox is at about 35% health. Have your DPS switch targets if necessary to balance it out.

If Shannox dies before the dogs, the dogs will enrage and wipe the raid. If the dogs die before Shannox, Shannox will also enrage – but this at least is just about manageable. Each doggie death will give Shannox a 30% boost to his damage and a 30% boost to his attack speed – he really loved those dogs. Once the dogs are dead the fight becomes a classic burn phase – DPS hard, and let your tanks and healers cycle mitigation cooldowns to keep the tanks alive. Obviously, this is the time to call for Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp.

Dealing with Rageface

Rageface is one of those annoying, yappy dogs that runs round the room wanting to make friends with everyone. Once Rageface has picked his target the only way to distract him is giving him a firm, hard smack on the nose. In this case, the smack needs to take the form of a 30k crit. Unless and until Rageface receives 30,000 points of damage from a single blow, he’ll continue to maul the poor unfortunate soul he’s targeted. Luckily, while he’s doing so he gains a debuff which makes each shot that lands on him much more likely to be a critical.

Summary

The two keys to this fight are ensuring that all raid members avoid the various nasties on the floor, and making sure that your tanks manage to drop their stacks of Ragged Tear regularly. Once you’ve got those two tricks mastered, the fight becomes quite an easy one.

Why not check out our dedicated guides for Shannox melee DPS, Shannox as ranged DPS and healing Shannox?

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Firelands boss guides: Shannox – Ranged DPS duties

The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the Firelands raid is Shannox. Ranged DPS have an easier job in this fight than healers or tanks, but it can still be a little tricky to figure out the mechanics of this fight.

First of all, take a look over our guide to Shannox tactics to give you a good idea of Shannox tactics. You’ll see that your primary job is to avoid traps, and your secondary job is to focus DPS on your assigned target.

Initial positioning

You’ll most likely have two tanks for this fight – one on Shannox himself, and one on Riplimb. Rageface (Shannox’s other dog) can’t be tanked and is going to be a constant pain in the neck for you throughout this fight – perhaps even literally.

Once the tanks have positioned Shannox and Riplimb, spread out. The healers will be doing the same, so coordinate your position relative to the rest of the raid.

Your raid leader will assign a DPS target for you. This is most likely to be Riplimb, but you may be asked to DPS Shannox instead. Either way, this target will be your sole target for most of the fight – there’s very little target switching required.

Don’t stand in the … well, you get the idea

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an ice-block. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

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There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them. They don’t have any AoE effect, so there’s no need to run right out of the spiral. Just move away from the individual fires.

The ‘hitting things’ part

Once you’re confident in your trap-avoidance skills, the actual DPS mechanics of this fight are pretty easy. Keep up sustained DPS on your assigned target, and watch the health meters of all three opponents. You’re aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health.

Once the dogs are dead, Shannox will enrage and start doing very unpleasant things to your poor tanks. This is a classic burn phase, so DPS like a loon. Your big DPS cooldowns should all be saved for this phase. With a bit of luck, you should be able to take Shannox down before he turns the tanks into liquid smears of shame.

Here, boy!

If your single-target DPS is particularly hard-hitting, your raid leader may assign you to hit Rageface instead of Riplimb. Rageface can’t be tanked, and will regularly pick a random raid member to be mean to. Once Rageface has picked his target the only way to distract him is giving him a firm, hard smack on the nose. In this case, the smack needs to take the form of a 30k crit. Unless and until Rageface receives 30,000 points of damage from a single blow, he’ll continue to maul the poor unfortunate soul he’s targeted. Luckily, while he’s doing so he gains a debuff which makes each shot that lands on him much more likely to be a critical.

If you’ve been assigned to Rageface-distraction duty, your job is to hit him with a high-damage strike as soon as he picks a new target. After that, you can kite him until he picks a new target, then repeat the process.

Extra credit

When Shannox throws his spear, Riplimb will grab it and run back to Shannox to return it. If you have any slowing abilities, this is the time to use them. Riplimb can be slowed, and doing so will really help your tanks.

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Firelands Boss Guides – Shannox Tanking Tips

The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the new Firelands raid is Shannox. Tanking Shannox and his pets can be very challenging, but our tanking guide will help you along.

If you haven’t already done so, check out our guide to Shannox tactics, which will give you a good grounding in the basics of this encounter. Like the rest of the raid, you too should avoid the traps that Shannox throws down.

Of the three mobs in the encounter – Shannox, Riplimb and Rageface – only Shannox and Riplimb can be tanked. Rageface has no aggro table and will attack random raid members throughout the fight.

Shannox and Riplimb will both repeatedly apply a debuff, called Jagged Tear. This is a standard bleed effect, and it stacks. Managing Jagged Tear is the main challenge for tanks in this fight.

Both Shannox and Riplimb are immune to taunts, so you’ll have to build up threat the old-fashioned way.

The main tank role – getting all up in Shannox’s face

The main tank will be tanking Shannox himself. Position in standard raid boss style: in the center, towards the back, facing away from the raid. Maintaining a predictable facing for this boss is particularly important, as he cleaves in a 120° cone in front of him. Don’t let him hit the squishies.

Shannox will regularly throw his spear to somewhere near Riplimb. When this happens, he will be unable to reapply Jagged Tear until Riplimb runs back to him with the spear. This is the only opportunity you’ll have to allow your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.

He’s probably more scared of you than you are of him – off-tanking Riplimb

The off-tank task in this fight is to keep control of Riplimb. Riplimb should be tanked some distance away from Shannox, but be careful not to get too far. Further than 60 yards will cause both Riplimb and Shannox to enrage – something which can be firmly classed as a Bad Thing. Ideally, you want to position Riplimb just next to – but not on – a Crystal Prison Trap.

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The trick to this fight is to balance the stacks of Jagged Tear. Riplimb will continue to apply this debuff to you at all times, except for when he returns Shannox’s spear. You need to slow him down as much as possible at that point, so that you and your fellow tank get the maximum amount of ‘downtime’, allowing your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.

The first, and most important, way to slow Riplimb is to trap him in one of Shannox’s _Crystal Prison Trap_s. As soon as you see the red circle appear, indicating the target area for Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability, kite Riplimb into a Crystal Prison Trap (being very careful not to trigger it yourself). If you’ve positioned Riplimb correctly, there should be a suitable trap very near to you.

Riplimb will find his own way out of the trap after 10 seconds, at which point he will head back to Shannox. Slows can help here – Chains of Ice from a Death Knight, for instance.

When Riplimb has returned the stick – sorry, spear – he’ll go back to attacking the raid. Hopefully, you’ll still be at the top of his aggro table so he’ll run towards you. At this point, abilities which put distance between you and Riplimb (Heroic Leap, for example) are useful. Just be careful to keep him within the 60 yard range.

Alternative Tank-swap strategy

An alternative strategy is to have one tank take on both Shannox and Riplimb at the same time. Once Jagged Tear reaches about 8 stacks, swap to the other tank. Since both mobs are immune to taunt, this strategy requires some serious tanking skill, but it can make things easier for your healers.

The horrible bit at the end during which you’ll probably die

The DPS will be aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. Each canine fatality enrages Shannox, to the tune of an extra 30% damage and an extra 30% speed. Once that kicks in, he will hit like a truck that has won the Which Truck? Best Truck To Hit Like award three years running. There’s no getting away from it: this is gonna hurt.

You should try to save your mitigation cooldowns for this final phase, and coordinate cooldowns with your healers. You won’t have to worry about Hurl Spear any more, but Shannox will more than make up for that by repeatedly slamming the spear into the ground instead, doing large amounts of AoE fire damage and applying a debuff that increases fire damage taken.

Grit your teeth and take the pain, and it’ll soon be over.

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