Friday, November 23, 2012

Into the heart of fear - LFR

Fabad, blogger extraordinaire, is reporting inside the inside the Heart of fear with a small assault force wich is bent on eradicating the insects problem of the Dread Waste.

Doing thoses fights on the LFR at the release I noticed a step up in difficulty compared to Mogushan Vault. So I decided to make a general guidelines for the bosses you'll encounter there from a melee DPS point of view. But as I was writing this post, LFR got hit by a series of nerf that trivialized even more most of those fights. Anyway, it's done, so here it is:

Imperial Vizier Zor'Lok: The first boss you'll encounter, you will have to follow him to three different platforms where he will have different abilities. 
- Attenuation: You need to dodge discs he sends all around him in a spiral.
- Convert: He will control 3 raid member, dps them to 50% to free them.
- Force and verve: that is a damage raid wide ability where you have to run to an area protected by a yellow protective barrier to mitigate damage.
When he reach 40%, he will move to the center and uses all three abilities. If you were mindlessy dpsing away, now would probably be a good time to pay attention to the fight, so try to stay alive until he die.

Blade Lord Ta'yak: This boss has one ability called Unseen strike that targets a random player but all damage is spread between people that are in the vicinity. The guy who is targeted will have a red arrow on his head, so stack on him or he will be one-shotted. The boss has another ability that prevents players to just stack in one place for all the fight, it's called Wind step and it will hit a random player and the one who are within 8 yards of him, so it's better to be a little spread out if you can. Also tornadoes will spawn during the fight, so move away from them. At 20% health, another phase begin. He will teleport to an end of the corridor and you've got to chase him as he will send tornadoes down the corridor. Dodge them and be wary of spots on the floor indicating a tornado will spawn when you got near him. At 10% health, he will move to the other end of the corridor, so rinse and repeat .

Garalon: This giant bug should be kited around  the area by dedicated healers or ranged that knows what they're doing, while the two tanks stays in front of him at all time. Because, if the boss cleave doesn't hit two player, he gets a stackable buff called Fury. Since it's LFR, there is a chance that the raid will completely ignore that mechanic and let one of the tank kite him. So help the healers by minimizing the damage you take and use self heals when you have to. DPS must focus on the legs to slow him, the damage you do on the legs will also reduce Garalon total health pool. Bonus: if you are within 12 yards of the leg you got a 100% damage increase buff. Apart from the cleave, you must avoid stepping on the pheremone trail left behind by the kiter. And most importantly, you must be careful not to get under Garalon (indicated by a purple circle) or it will trigger the Massive Crush ability wich is raid wide damaging attack and would probably kill you if you are under him.

This finish the first wing of Heart of fear, come back when you're done to read the second parts.

Wind Lord Mel'jarak: In this fight, there will be nine adds of three type (all adds of a same type share the same health pool):
- Menders who cast an interruptable heal.
- Blademasters who simultaneously charge a random player.
- Trappers that have two abilities: Amber Prison that will cc a player (right click the player to remove it) and a debuff call Corrosive resin that can be removed by moving but will leave a residue in the path of the player.

Only four adds can be crowd controlled (CC) at one time or CC's will be reset. I found out that the best way to do this boss is to mark the adds that will be have to be kept CC'ed: two Menders, one Blademaster and one Trapper. CC'ing one blademaster will reduce the damage done to the random player that will be charged. Mark the remaining Mender who will be focused on first and mark a Blademaster who will be focused next, then finish off the Trappers. After this the boss can be defeated pretty easily. Another way, typical of LFR, is to pull before the CC are done and gather all the adds in a pack and AoE them down, it's just that it takes longer.

Amber-Shaped Un'sok: One of the most important ability of this boss is that he will transform a random player in a mutated construct. For the first phase, only the tanks will be transformed but in the subsequent phase any player can. When mutated, the player must use two abilities: if the construct is casting Amber explosion use Struggle for control to interrupt, else use Amber Strike on cooldown wich stack a debuff on the boss. The dps need to burn both the boss and the construct because if it ran out of energy, the mutated player will died. That player is automatically released when it health reach 10% in LFR. Otherwise, if you are targeted by Amber scalpel, kite it away from other people.

Phase two start when boss reach 70% health. All dps must switch to Amber Monstrosity and the controlled player. If you are mutated, try to interrupt Amber explosion of the Monstrosity as much as possible by using Amber Strike.

Phase three starts when the Monstrosity is dead. You can switch dps back to boss. It's a burn phase so just go crazy on dps.

Grand Empress Shek'zeer: That fight is pretty straightforward for dps in LFR. You will alternate between dpsing the boss and the adds when the Empress retreats. When adds comes out, focus on the smaller one first then take out the big one. If an add focus on you, just kite it. After two wave of adds, you wont need to switch again, just dps that big girl.

Some sha-touched weapon drops from the Empress but if you are plate dps, you will have to wait for the Terrace of endless spring to get one. Sha-Touched weapon can be gemmed with a legendary gem given by the black Prince at the end of his legendary questline.

Pro-tip:  Enjoy a meal at the Thanksgiving table near the Storwmwind gates to get a +10% reputation buff.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Golden lotus finale

Warning: this post contains spoilers.

So I finally reached exalted with the Golden Lotus faction. Upon reaching exalted, you collect a quest that triggers the final attack of the Mogu on the Vale of Eternal Blossom. Remember all the Thunder King artefacts you collected when you reached revered? Well, they have been stolen and Mogus are attacking the Vale in force joined by Quillen and animated jade statue. Helped by the gods of the panadaria pantheon you slaughter hundreds of Mogus. After this you got to fight against the head of the Shao Tien clan that is operating in the Vale.

That battle takes place in front of the gate of Mogushan Palace. I must admit I died a couple of times getting used to the fight, that warlord is not a pushover. There is two mechanics that you must be aware of. First, the warlord will throw a spear of lightning on the ground, you must pick it up and throw it back at him before it does big AoE damage. Second, there is walls of lightning that you must jump over or take huge damage that will quickly kills you.

It's worth the efforts tough because defeating him is a huge setback for the Mogus and you are awarded an epic necklace (wich went for my tanking offspec since I had already one from the Klaxxi). Still no words about the whereabouts of the Thunder king that got ressurected by the the Zandalari, so there might be more Mogu action coming up later.

Altough I liked the dailies I'm glad that I can take a break from them so I'll have more time for the other factions, I still have to do Klaxxi, Shadopan, August Celestial and Order of the Cloud Serpent. Since this the Golden Lotus faction unlocks two important faction I'll probably have to do it with my others alts but I'll wait for the reputation gain bonus that is coming with patch 5.1.

Daily pro-tips: Orcish Army Knife and Wow insider recently made posts about dailies tips, I recommend you to go ahead and take a look yourself. Here is one of my favorite: You can mount for the quest Free spirits, makes it a lot quicker!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mopping up the mogu

After conquering Mogushan Vaults, the heroes of the Alliance and the Horde set their sights on the sha corrupted Empress of the Mantids, in the Heart of fear. Before heading into that new raid I tought it would be good time to take a look at the lore behind the Mogu.

The Mogu were scattered and in hiding for thousands of years, since the time they were beaten by our newfound friends the pandarens, but they have recently began to resurface. They are brutes that delights in torturing and dominating other races. In the Jade Forest, we had our first encounter with them. They were trying to enslave pandarans and instillating souls into statues to animate them. In the Valley of the Emperor, located in the Kun-Lai Summit zone, we saw them working with the Zandalari troll pillaging the tombs of the ancient Pandaria emperors. They were looking for relics of power and the remains of the Thunder King, the first Mogu emperor. Despite your efforts, the Zandalari managed to resuscitate the Thunder King and he escaped.

The Zandalari tribe is on the run since they betrayed the Alliance and the Horde during the Cataclysm. They tried to unite all the troll tribes and to summon Hakkar the soulflayer, an ancient blood god. But now it appears that they came back to Pandaria and have renewed their alliance with the Mogu. Having dealt with the Zandalari before, we can wonder if they are helping the Mogu take back the throne of Pandaria or if they just want to appropriate some of the Mogu ancient artefacts for themselves.

When your character reach the Vale of the Eternal Blossom, he sees the towering twin statues of the Mogu and the ancient Palace of the emperor. This place is called Mogushan Palace and is one of the Mogu base of operation. Three of the greatest tribes of Mogu gathered there under  the leadership of Xin the Weaponmaster. Fortunately, internal bickering, Saurok looters and dashing band of heroes stopped short his plan to restore Mogu to their former glories.

When your character come back to the Vale at level 90, you are tasked to help the Golden Lotus, a secret organisation that is dedicated to fighting the Mogu. So you undertakes a series of dailies that consist of skirmishes at the Golden Stairs, Mistfall village, Golden Petal Lake and Guo-Lai ruins. In Guo-Lai Halls the Mogu are animating an armie of Jade statue to bolster there army. Later on, you seek out the helm and weapons of the Thunder King that are hidden throughout the Vale. Altough, I have not seen the end of the storyline with the Golden Lotus, I am confident that we will foil whatever attempt of the Mogu to take back the Vale.

So that takes us to the first raid in Pandaria, the Vault of Mysteries. It is guarded by Quilien statues and spirits of ancient powerful mogu. Just before the entrance to the deeper parts of the Vault, the raid encounter a troll tomb looting party lead by Gara'jal the Spiritbinder. Then it is revealed that a Titan artefact of immense power rest in the vaults. This artefacts was repurposed to create an endlessa army of Mogu and is destroyed by your raid group.

It seems that the mogu threat is contained for now. So the heroes of Azeroth can focus their attention to the mantids and the Sha. That is unless a full blown war erupts between the Alliance and the Horde.