Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and spend thousands of gold on repairs and consumables. This week, a pit lord dies.
Brutallus is the second boss in the Sunwell Plateau. A pit lord with swords for hands, he becomes accessible once you've redeemed Kalecgos and killed the two trash packs behind Kalecgos' platform. After watching a short event where Brutallus fights and kills Madrigosa, a blue dragon who you can see taunting him when doing the Dead Scar bombing quest, it's time to face the demon himself.
Many people have compared the Brutallus encounter to that of Patchwerk back in Naxxramas; rather than an execution encounter, this is a benchmark fight, and if your raid is low on DPS, your tanks fall short of gear requirements or your healers can't keep up, you'll run into difficulties. The main requirement is extremely high raid dps; with a 6 minute enrage and 10.5 million hitpoints, you're looking at just over 29k raid dps sustained over the entire fight. How much that works out to per DPSer depends on your raid composition, so let's look at what you need to bring for the fight.
When I first saw this piece of advice I have to admit I went and tried it right away. I went in AV and typed in /bg, "Man... look at all these AFK people." A few folks responded and agreed with me, annoyed about it. "Type /afk list and report everyone that comes up, please," I say next.
I kid you not - 15 people immediately afk'd out. At that point I started getting some pretty hate-filled tells, so I decided to /afk out myself.
But nonetheless, I just about died from laughter. Of course, this is kind of mean, and just a tad underhanded, but really... sometimes things like this are just too funny to pass up. I tried this again later in a AB match that was going awful, and after I told everyone to type /afk list, someone replied "Yeah, wow, look at all those people." He then sent me a tell: "lol! I've been doing that all day!"
All the people that were dragging us down left the BG, and new ones came in and we won. So maybe this isn't that bad of advice after all...
Last night the WoW Insider arena team went over to the Arena Tournament server and played 14 matches over a couple hours. We went 8-6 for the evening, a much better number than our 3-11 score the week before. That places us at 11-17, with a team rating of 1435. Not too bad considering we've only played together a handful of times, and some of us are playing completely unknown classes.
So what helped us go in the right direction? A few things. First, we were communicating much more over vent. We were letting each other know what our target was, where we were going, what our status was, etc. This gave us the edge in a few matches.
Another thing that helped us win more was focus targeting a player down. This action in itself might seem like a no-brainer to many of you out there, but it is easier said than done. One of the reasons we had success in the video above is that we focus targeted the Mage down quickly. This was good not only from a DPS stand point, but from a target selection stand point as well. Mages are squishy, and go splat easily. This Mage didn't last long.
Each week, Arcane Brilliance is conjured out of thin air after a three-second cast, and then handed over in stacks of twenty to everyone who cares to have some. Actually, it's usually written over the course of a few hours by a half-asleep father of two after the kids have gone to bed. It may or may not be written while eating Cakesters and listening to a giant, largely embarrassing playlist of 80's music that includes Jan Hammer, Joe Esposito, and the illustrious Ronnie James Dio. So in a way, I suppose, perhaps magic is involved in the creation of this column. How else can you explain my ability to right-align a screenshot or create hyperlinks to Wowhead under those conditions? I'm some kind of sorcerer, that's how.
This week we continue our look at who Mages can kill, and who we can only kill if the other guy spills Red Bull all over his keyboard mid-fight. Just like every other class (except Druids) in this game, there are some good match-ups for Mages, and some incredibly bad ones. Last week we touched on several of these, and this week, we'll go over the rest. To review, according to the unscientific and largely arbitrary rating system I invented for the purposes of this column, it was decided that Warriors were very killable, Hunters were killable with some skill and luck, but Druids and Warlocks were not very killable at all.
So who's on tap for this week? Priests, Pallies, Shammies, and Rogues. Just for fun, I think we have to throw in some hot (or cold, depending on spec) Mage on Mage action, too. Join me after the jump for all the good stuff.
Each week or so, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.
This week, I finally get around to answering an email from Mattilda:
I really enjoyed your article on WoW Insider. I recently got married and that basically killed my play time in WoW which probably isn't that bad of a thing, but I still like to play and it is normally only for a couple of hours in the evening. One of the biggest problems I have is getting a group for an instance. I have a decent guild but they are all normally busy in Kara or ZA when I'm on, and since I only play one or 2 nights a week I'm not high on the importance list to help.
I like to do dailies and busy my self with solo stuff, but in order to get neutral with the Ogrila, there are some group quests. Looking for group is not always reliable and it seems that it basically puts you with 5 year olds most of the time. So my question is you can either put in in an article or just answer via e-mail, do you have any good ideas on how to get a reliable group in a short amount of time. There may not be a way, but just wanted to get your thoughts.
Happy Guildleader Appreciation Day - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST I love this idea that reader Marvin mentioned in the comments the other day (although I wish that he'd tipped us off about it earlier): Leiandra wants to create an official Guildleader Appreciation Day, a day to recognize all the great guildleaders in World of Warcraft and all the other online games. It's simple, too -- all you have to do to observe is just thank your guildleader for their hard work. Until Hallmark gets wind of this, that is, but there's a little while until that happens.
She suggests that the day this happens should be the first full moon of April, which this year falls on 4/20 (snicker), or this Sunday. Leiandra also says that it's fine to extend the "day" to the day before and the day after, in order to get all the guildleader appreciation possible in. So today's the day it starts -- make sure to thank your guildleader this weekend.
And we'll have to either include raidleaders, or come up with something else for them. Guildleaders do a lot of work, but raidleaders are out there in the trenches, too, making sure we all get the loot we need. If we're going to appreciate guildleaders (and we should) raidleaders need love, too.
Loving to hate RP descriptions - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST One of the things I sort of miss from my City of Heroes days is the ability to add a description to my character for everyone to see, and having the ability to read their origin stories, too. RP mods such as FlagRSP(now out-of-date) and ImmersionRP work to fill this void, but it isn't quite the same.
Though most players have horrible, awful descriptions detailing nothing but their vampire fangs and heaving bosoms(even the men), they still supply entertainment when I have nothing better to do but stand around Stormwind using guild chat as glorified IRC. The addons that allow you to do this are nice, but they just aren't used by many people, even within the RP community. That's understandable, they don't really 'do' a lot. I don't see something like this ever being implemented in WoW's lifetime, but it would be nice to see, simply for the entertainment factor.
Am I alone in this? Is it so wrong to want to read these things when I have nothing better to do, no matter how horrible most of them are? Does that Night Elf over there really have eight black feathered wings? Does she really?
Last week, we asked viewers if there could be a happy mix of gameplay and machinima. So far, the only person to chime in was Lex, with this video of a Deadmines run. While admitting that it's not the best example, they feel the music engages viewers and that it's cut together in an organized manner.
We'd have to agree that we're glad they broke free from the metal soundtracks, but the Jackson 5? We're looking for true art. Deadmines BBQ is just a gameplay video with a lot of barn door transitions. There has to be a better example out there than this!
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
The other day, Kromzul of Burning Blade posted a thread in the official Wrath of the Lich King forum about dungeon design. He asks if instances will be deeper than those in the Burning Crusade, and I agree with most of what he says. Essentially, the epic, sprawling dungeon crawls of old have gone extinct with BC. Bornakk chimes in to say that The Burning Crusade dungeon design was heavily influenced by player feedback, wishing for more Scarlet Monastery-esque dungeons. I can see that, and to an extent, I agree with that, too. Scarlet Monastery, while shorter and more linear, was also pretty cool.
Personally, I don't think that it really comes down to one or the other. Take Dire Maul, for instance. Each wing could be tackled in a straightforward, linear fashion. However, each of them also had alternative routes, and some of them even had alternative ways of defeating them. For example, Tribute Runs in Dire Maul: North. Plus, they were even connected via the library. If you really want to, you could go from one wing to the other without any loading screen.
Don't you love when all the servers are down but a few, and everyone rolls new characters and wanders around the starting areas? Clinker, server unknown, took advantage of weekly maintenance to make a lowbie belfadin on a new server. Unfortunately, he stumbled upon the annual Sin'dorei Women's Swimsuit Competition. Notable terrible names in the screenshot include Myspaceme, Hunnybunn and Nerfthis.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing. And please, no more sunsets. They're as overdone as the eggs at Waffle House.
The destination will be a brand-new Oceanic PvP realm called Dreadmaul. It will be in the Bloodlust battlegroup. New character creation on Dreadmaul will be disabled until transfers are over, and the realm will have its Ahn'Qiraj gates open automatically. As always, transfer early if you want to, because Blizzard may close the transfers before the deadline if there's a mad rush on them. The transfers are scheduled to run for a week, until April 28, 12 PM PST.
Breakfast Topic: Time or money? - Sat, 19 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST I recently posted about how I dropped Mining in order to take up Enchanting to better contribute to my PvP efforts. As of this writing, I've got my Enchanting at an unexciting 245 (update: now at 350). All our banked low-level mats have been used up and I'm hitting a barrier with lacking more than a few Nether Essences. I do have the option of buying them from the Auction House, which will certainly help me skill up faster, but it will also end up breaking my already quite broke(n) back. On the other hand, my wife leveled her Enchanting rather patiently, refusing to rewrite enchantments on gear except for the most inexpensive ones. She would diligently inspect people and their gear in major cities and offer free enchantments. Over time, she acquired enough raw materials and enchanted enough people to hit 375 -- all without spending a single Copper coin.
I'm not quite as patient. Actually, I'm impatient as heck. My wife refuses to Buyout anything from the Auction Houses, instead waiting patiently for Auctions to end, getting things for the lowest possible price. The only time she uses Buyout is when it's an incredibly good deal (thanks to Auctioneer). I, on the other hand, Buyout pretty much everything, more interested in getting the item/s right away than saving Gold. I guess that's why I don't have much and my wife, well, has more than quite a bit. So, here's my question. Are you the kind of player who would rather save your time or your money? Are you patient enough to wait for auctions to end, or the kind who clicks the Buy Now option on eBay? Would you rather farm your raw materials or buy them off the Auction House -- Buyout style?
Once you hit Outland and begin to surf through the materials required to not only reach 375 in your given profession, but then to proceed through making your epic sets, you might start feeling a tad dizzy. One of the main reasons for this across all crafting professions is primals.
As an example, let's consider the Ebon Netherscale pieces from Dragonscale leatherworking. In order to make the breastplate, bracers and belt, you will need, among other things: 36 [Primal Fire], 36 [Primal Shadow] and 3 [Primal Nether]. In other words, 360 [Mote of Fire] and 360 [Mote of Shadow], and this only once you've reached 375.
This week, Insider Trader explores the best places to farm for the motes you'll be needing, along with the benefits provided by engineering, alchemy, mining and herbalism. We also take a look at how to benefit from trades, with a list of further reading.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. For more farming guides, check out our cloth farming guide. For a complete list of profession guides, feel free to peruse our directory.
This week on PLP we're covering a reader request: RetPallyJil sent us a note and said that we should cover this much-maligned mace. So here you go: the Earthshaker, hated by all guilds who've ever run Molten Core back in the day.
Chance on hit: Knocks down all nearby enemies for 3 seconds. Which is actually kind of fun, especially in PvP, and the proc goes off pretty often, too. Radius of the proc is 5 yards (melee range), and one cool thing about it is that there's no limit to the number of enemies it hits -- as long as they're in that range, they get stunned for 3 seconds.
Increases attack power by 22.
As RetPallyJil says, this weapon is actually most famous for being "the single most unilaterally and unfairly unloved and underrated weapon ... ever." There are a number of reasons why this weapon is so hated, but we can start with the low DPS -- never good for a two-hander, and while the proc sometimes makes up for not, it doesn't work well enough for a min-maxer. Plus, just who's supposed to use this weapon? Most people who were wielding two-handers pre-BC were wielding something much more useful, and the stun was more of a novelty than anything else.
But the number one reason why this mace was so hated is probably just where it dropped -- as you can see below, it came from a boss in Molten Core. So imagine you finally get forty people together, finally organize them enough to down a couple of bosses, get to a place where (for some people) your first Tier 1 set piece might drop, and then... this "novelty" weapon. Didn't rub a lot of people the right way, and many, many shards were made with this weapon.
How to Get It: Drops from Magmadar in Molten Core, which, like I said, is probably one reason why people hate this thing so much -- if it had come from anywhere that didn't require 40 people and a few weeks of raiding, people probably would have appreciated the great proc a little more. Then again, back then, there weren't too many places to get epics anyway, and ... but I digress.
Anyway, make it to Magmadar, usually the second boss in MC (you've got to down Lucifron to get to him), and this drops at about at 22% rate from him. Back in the day, you could go with any run, and they'd be happy to let you take this off their hands (unless they wanted the shard). Nowadays, it's such a novelty that you might have to fight with the raid to get it, especially if there's another 2h wielder around. But it's easy to run -- come back the next week with another 5-10 guys, and odds are you'll get it again.
Getting Rid of It: You never know when that proc will be useful, so if you've got it, you might want to hang on to it. If not, it sells for 9g 19s 3c, and it doesn't disenchant at all. No, of course I'm kidding -- as anyone who's ever run MC knows, this will disenchant into a Nexus Crystal.
Here's yet another reason for me and all my roleplaying kin to tune in to the next Blizzcast: They will be discussing roleplaying in WoW, says Vaneras. It won't be a major topic, but there is some discussion about plans to continue development of "things that are for roleplaying."
So, I am certainly excited. I can't help but speculate where this could go. What could they have planned, development-wise? Will we see more reporting tools for RP server violations? Or will we simply see more character customization options to allow us to submerge ourselves more fully into the Worlds of Azeroth and Outland? I think my big problem is going to be holding back my expectations. They're running so wild, that I can't help but that think I'll be disappointed in what's actually said.
Things have been pretty slow around Addon Spotlight this week, which can be attributed to a brutal set of finals for yours truly. I was thinking it would be great if there was an addon for life that I could simply click to remove the Finals debuff. Unfortunately, there isn't anything yet, although I'm waiting for one of you savvy developers to come up with something. (Hint hint, wink wnk)
However, there is an addon that can make removing debuffs in World of Warcraft easy and efficient. Decursive 2.0 is a lightweight, subtle addon that holds great power. This mod has been around, in a couple different variations, for quite some time. In fact, it was one of the first addons I installed. Since then it has become as much a part of my user interface as any of the default tools. Decursive 2.0 configures itself to your class and will work straight out of the box. It handles anything you can cleanse, allowing you to use it with little or no configuring on your part. Keep reading find out what Decursive 2.0 can do for you.
The transfers are available from today at 12:00 p.m. PDT until next Friday April 25th at 12:00 p.m. PDT. Of course, Blizzard reserves the right to shut down the transfers if they meet their internal numbers prior to the close date. They have been known to close down transfers early, so transfer soon if you want to take advantage of this.
WoW Insider will always keep you up-to-date on the latest realm news, so stay tuned!
WoW Insider on the Arena Tournament server tonight! - Fri, 18 Apr 2008 16:00:00 EST After my weekly dose of Battlestar Galactica* the WoW Insider team will be logging onto the Arena Tournament Server for some hot arena action. What's hot about it you ask? Why our 3-11 record! Also hot is the spec I'll be going with - an actual honest to God Mortal Strike build.
And we'll be answering your questions and queries as well -- you can email the show at email@example.com, or just join us live in IRC over at irc.mmoirc.com. Listen live tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm EST over on WoW Radio -- with Rossi and Hecht on, it's sure to be a barnburner.
Readers picked some fairly off-beat topics to wax loquacious about this week. Join [1.Local] as we chew the fat over those conspiratorial, Horde-centric folks at Blizzard ... the controversy (or non-controversy?) of Arena point selling ... the virtues of dedicated banker characters ... and what we thought was a really interesting idea for PvP-oriented crafting.
As always, be sure to dive into the comments area and add your own thoughts - unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
Employee-only bronze orc and wolf statue on eBay We thought we were the only ones constantly accused of being Horde-centric - but it looks like Blizzard gets their fair share of finger-pointing, too, from readers like Gror: "Anyone else think that this is more proof that Blizz favours the Horde? They got a 12-foot statue made of an Orc and give all their employees Orc statues. Sickens me! This game for a long time has been Horde-biased! So hordeinsider.com, your mission will soon be completed." Bwahahaha.