Appearance is everything

Now that the news of the forthcoming Transmogrification tools in WoW Patch 4.3 has settled in, many bloggers are starting to speculate about which bit of gear has the best look. I can the impression that a lot of people are planning their perfect appearance in advance, with some players even starting to grind old world instances already.

The Dreamy Druid has a list of best picks for druids. I’ve always thought that druids have been lucky enough to have some of the best tier sets over the years, and Melyanna’s selection shows them all off well.

What could be cooler than killing baddies in metaphorical high heels?

For hunters, Morynnne at Marks-365 continues her Hunter Tier Transmogrification Guide with a list of belts and boots. There are some great images here, particularly in the main guide. I don’t think Id’ even seen the hunter Tier 1 set before, but I like it.

Even WoW Insider is getting in on the act, with a post today looking at the different warlock tiers. There’s a definate aura of warlockophelia in the air:

[O]h, tier 5. This is perhaps the signature warlock tier set for many players. It offers everything that you could ever want out of a set: It’s excessively dark, it shows that warlocks will do whatever it takes to defeat their enemies, and just overall is the core of what makes a warlock a warlock and not a weak-willed mage.

If you are a ‘weak-willed mage’, you might be interested in Disciplinary Action’s list of Mage, Warlock and Priest tier gear. This one’s pretty extensive, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Personally, I’m more excited about changing the appearance of weapons that I am of gear. My Warmace of Menethil was hard-won, and it pained me to have to stop using it. It’ll be nice to have it back, even if only in appearance.

I’ll leave you with one final post from Markco at Just My Two Copper. I’m not even going to pretend that there’s a link to any of today’s other posts, but when one of the best gold-making bloggers out there posts a list of 400 WoW Gold Tips I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in his direction.

Quotes, as always, taken directly from the relevant posts.

Have you picked your perfect outfit yet? Have you started farming old content? Let us know in the comments.

Read more →

Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith ranged DPS tips

Lord Rhyolith is a fiery giant, and one of the bosses of the Firelands raid. Sadly, when fighting Lord Rhyolith, ranged DPS don’t get the fun job of steering the boss around the room – instead you’ll be responsible for damaging the various adds that will spawn during the fight.

During the main phase of the fight, Rhyolith won’t be doing any direct damage to the raid. Instead, he’ll wander around the room under the subtle guidance of the melee DPS – read our guide to fighting Lord Rhyolith as melee DPS and our main article on Lord Rhyolith tactics to see how it works.

Damaging Rhyolith

Lord Rhyolith actually has three unit frames – one for his body, and one for each of his feet. Although your main job is to DPS the adds rather than the boss, you may occasionally find yourself with some downtime, at which point you should feel free to hit Rhyolith. If your aim is just to damage him, always target his body, rather than his feet.

Your raid leader may occasionally require you to join the melee DPS in applying damage to one of Rhyolith’s feet – this is what steers him in a particular direction. You should only ever do damage to one of Rhyolith’s feet if specifically requested to do so. Make sure you’ve targetted the correct foot!

The adds

Rhyolith will summon adds approximately every 25 seconds. These adds will be either Fragments of Rhyolith (in which case 5 mobs will spawn at once), or Sparks of Rhyolith (in which case only one mob will spawn).

Sparks of Rhyolith throw out constant AoE damage, so your tank will move them away from the raid. You should DPS them down as soon as they appear. Sparks gain a stacking buff which increases the damage they do, but also increases the damage they receive – so the longer they’ve been active, the faster they’ll drop.

[inline-ad]

Fragments of Rhyolith do comparitively little damage, and should be taken down with AoE damage. The important job here is to make sure they die within 30 seconds of spawning. Any Fragment left alive after 30 seconds will rush at a random raid member and explode, doing some nasty damage. Fragments are priority targets over Sparks: they need to die, and die fast.

There’s fire on the ground. You know what to do.

Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. As well as dealing out some raid-wide damage, this ability will create volcanoes on the ground. Volcanoes will occasionally erupt, dealing fire damage which will be spread among the raid at random. When Lord Rhyolith steps on a volcano, it becomes a crater, and those are the things you really need to watch out for.

As soon as a crater is created, it will emit Lava streams. The streams will start at the crater and move outwards in all directions. Don’t get in the way – if you stand in a Lava stream it will do what fire does best and burn your feet off.

After 10 seconds, the streams will explode, doing damage to anybody stood in them. So, once again: do not stand in the fire. The streams don’t move very quickly, so as long as you’re paying attention you should be able to avoid them.

When a crater has finished spewing lava, it will become a lava pool – a pool of fire on the floor which you should, that’s right, not stand in.

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins when Rhyolith reaches 25% health. He’ll discard his armor, assume his true form (spoiler: his true form is fire), and attack the raid. Your job here is simply to DPS him as fast as you possibly can. He won’t summon any more adds, but there will probably still be fire on the ground, so watch your step. Rhyolith will be throwing out increasing amounts of damage, so the sooner he dies the more likely you are to be alive to witness it.

Read more →

Firelands Boss Guides: Beth’tilac Ranged DPS tips

Where’s the best place to be when fighting a spider? That’s right: as far away as possible. Which is why, when fighting the spider boss Beth’tilac, ranged DPS have the least arachnophobia-inducing job. Here’s our guide to defeating Beth’tilac as ranged DPS:

For this fight, as we detailed in our main Beth’tilac tactics guide, your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web level. As a ranged DPS, you’ll probably be assigned to the Ground Level Group (if you’re not, use the tactics for the Web Level Group from our guide to fighting Beth’tilac as melee DPS).

You’ll remain on the ground throughout the entirity of this fight. Your job is to handle the various adds that spawn. There are three types: Cinderweb Spinners, the smaller Cinderweb Spiderlings, and the big Cinderweb Drones.

Positioning

You should spend the first phase of this fight in the southwest corner of the room. Stack up there as soon as you can. Your raid leader should have placed raid markers in each of the other three corners, and you will have been assigned a particular corner to focus on. You don’t need to worry about your assigned corner until Cinderweb Spiderlings start appearing (see below), but take a note of where it is right away.

[inline-ad]

At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will move up to the web level, and Cinderweb Spinners will start to spawn. They’ll initially appear hanging from the bottom of Beth’tilac’s web, but they should be within range of your attacks immediately. Start DPS on the Spinners as soon as they appear.

Cinderweb Spinners

More spinners will appear each time Beth’tilac casts Smoldering Devastation. You should repeat the same process each time they appear: DPS them down as fast as you’re able.

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. Switch to targeting webbed players as soon as they get caught, especially if it’s a healer or a tank.

Cinderweb Drones

The Ground Floor Group tank will grab the Drones when they appear. You’ll need to DPS them down quite quickly – they have an energy bar just like Beth’tilac, and if it runs out before they die, they’ll head up to the web level to steal energy from Beth’tilac instead, which is not a good thing.

Make sure not to stand in front of the Cinderweb Drones. One of their attacks is a cone attack which will really give you a headache if you’re caught in it.

Cinderweb Spiderlings

This is your time to shine. Your most important job in this fight is to deal with these little critters. The Spiderlings will spawn from each corner of the room except for the southwest corner (where you should be stood). Remember your assigned corner, and go spank those spiders. You should use a combination of AoE damage and slowing abilities to slow the Spiderlings down and damage them in place. If any Spiderlings reach a Cinderweb Drone, the Drone will be healed.

Phase 2

When Beth’tilac decends from the web level to the ground, Phase 2 begins. The aim here, as with most burn phases, is to kill her before her damage becomes too much for the tanks and healers to deal with. If you’ve saved your burst DPS cooldowns and trinkets for this phase, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem taking her down before she manages to brew up an entire potful of Tank Soup.

Read more →

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.

[inline-ad]

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.

Read more →

Patch 4.2 changes for… Rogues, (Prot and Retri) Paladins, (Feral and Balance)Druids, Warlocks, Death Knights and Mages

With World of Warcraft’s Patch 4.2 looming over us like a tsunami made of pure raid nerf (yes, I’m still a little bitter), it’s time for a great big massive, whopping round-up post. So if you want to know what’s going to happen to your Rogue, Warlock, DK, Mage, Paladin, or Druid, read on!

(AS you can see, we haven’t completed the full set yet. If you know of any guides to class changes, particularly for classes we’ve missed, that we haven’t featured, please do comment below!)

Here goes.

  • Rogues are getting a bunch of buffsbut how significant are they? Top Rosters answers.
  • It’s all change for Druids, with everything including a flaming cat. No, literally, it’s on fire. WoW Insider’s Chase Hasbrouck explains the Feral Druid changes, whilst Grey Matter’s all over the Boomkin alterations.
  • Warlocks aren’t getting as many changes as other classes, apparently, but what they are getting, Skim ‘Locks has coverage of.
  • DKs are seeing some fairly major changes that I know Johnnie’s bouncing up and down about – Daniel Whitcomb at WoW Insider has the analysis, which looks pretty complex.
  • Retridins are seeing some pretty significant buffs, particularly to AOE – about time – and Retpallie’s got the goods there. Meanwhile, tankadins are getting messed around all over the place – Mark Walsh at WoW Insider has a fairly detailed summary.
  • Finally, Mages are also getting a quick going-over, and also a chance to get into a big fight with the rest of their guildies over the caster legendary – Christian Belt’s Arcane Brilliance (at WoW Insider, again) has the goods.So there you go! Again, if you know of a guide to the 4.2 changes for Holydins, resto druids, Priests, Shammies, Warriors or Hunters, let me know below!
Read more →

Harpy's Nest: Mages And Varieties Of Polymorph

Harpysnest has a gem of a post up about sheep, pigs and penguins. No, she’s not talking about a trip to the zoo – she’s looking at the various animals mages can polymorph their victims in to.

She says polymorph is the reason she roled a mage, which is refreshing given it’s often overlooked as part of magery. It’s a great utility spell but by adding extra varieties of animals the designers have also succeeded in making it fun.

As soon as my mage hit 60, I went running off to Azshara to learn that exceedingly important spell, polymorph pig. Whilst I’m pretty sure that Blizzard won’t be removing this crucial spell, we know Azshara will be changing and it’s likely that polymorph pig will just be something you learn from your trainer. Therefore I really wanted to experience the quest before it vanishes (it doesn’t count for Loremaster however).

Harpy’s post is a fun ode to a fun spell, but she has some serious points too. Don’t forget that some of these polymorphs might not be available come Cataclysm, so if you want them don’t let them get pushed out by another round of grinding dailies. She also has a look at what animal types she’d like to see added. Personally I think we could do with a cow polymorph. Moo.

What about you? Did you role a mage just for polymorph, and what animals could we see in the future?

_Quote taken directly from Harpy’s post_

_Harpysnest homepage is here_**

**

Read more →

Harpy’s Nest: Mages And Varieties Of Polymorph

Harpysnest has a gem of a post up about sheep, pigs and penguins. No, she’s not talking about a trip to the zoo – she’s looking at the various animals mages can polymorph their victims in to.

She says polymorph is the reason she roled a mage, which is refreshing given it’s often overlooked as part of magery. It’s a great utility spell but by adding extra varieties of animals the designers have also succeeded in making it fun.

As soon as my mage hit 60, I went running off to Azshara to learn that exceedingly important spell, polymorph pig. Whilst I’m pretty sure that Blizzard won’t be removing this crucial spell, we know Azshara will be changing and it’s likely that polymorph pig will just be something you learn from your trainer. Therefore I really wanted to experience the quest before it vanishes (it doesn’t count for Loremaster however).

Harpy’s post is a fun ode to a fun spell, but she has some serious points too. Don’t forget that some of these polymorphs might not be available come Cataclysm, so if you want them don’t let them get pushed out by another round of grinding dailies. She also has a look at what animal types she’d like to see added. Personally I think we could do with a cow polymorph. Moo.

What about you? Did you role a mage just for polymorph, and what animals could we see in the future?

_Quote taken directly from Harpy’s post_

_Harpysnest homepage is here_**

**

Read more →