Archive for the Shameless Plugs Category

Fifty Shades of Great (BDSM)

Posted in PvE, Real Life, Shameless Plugs, WoW on August 14, 2013 by Srsbusiness

In order for my story to take flight, we must travel through a parabola filled with blight, Reading another line of this text may make you sick, But I promise ….     nothing.

Okay, really not that deep at all, in any contrived sense. What makes something great? Is it keeping true to that new year’s resolution? Is it getting a promotion at work? Is it being at the top of the meters every raid night? These can all be shades of greatness, and the latest shade I have found myself (and a lot of other other players as well) closing in on a pinnacle of greatness, by killing Dark Animus heroic and going 11/13 in H ToT. And while it certainly isn’t the greatest shade to be in by that particular grade scale, it is for myself, as through any expansion, this tier has been the most productive for me in terms of heroic bosses killed before a new raid tier is released. That in itself has been its own form of greatness. In addition, our raid team completed the achievement for the meta skyscreamer for about half of our members. This leaves an interesting point left to be made, heroic Lei Shen is in our sights, and Ra-Den to follow, but with the announcement of a possible patch release date in two weeks, is that enough time left to master the encounter?

Should people invest time into fights if the results may not happen? What about the rest of the team? Should that time be used to help them get to the same level as everyone else so they can feel accomplished too?  This is an issue for a lot of guilds right now, as the patch looms, deciding whether to bear down and push as hard as they can, or ease off a bit and come back with a vengeance in the upcoming raid after a recuperation period. And how exactly does the BDSM acronym fit into this post effectively? Simple! (And it serves as the argument either to press onward, or help everyone else catch up.)

Who controls Whom?

Apotheosis has ran rough shot this tier of current content, namely the latest kill of Dark Animus in only a single night’s worth of work. For one of the harder heroics in the raid, due to its model of controlled chaos, one night in Animus was time well spent. Other heroics may have taken longer, but since killing them, there is relative little difficulty anymore as clearing the instance is less of a time per night issue versus time left until patching issue. No Anima Font tells us what do to and gets away with it.

Bondage/Restraints

The only thing binding us now is the time element. While I have no doubts we will be able to defeat both Lei Shen and Ra-Den in time, with only a few raid nights left it becomes a statistical long shot to kill one or both of them with the time restraint that has been set in place. Any group can defy the odds, just like an underdog winning against a heavily favored entity.

Dominance/Discipline

As stated earlier, we have made this tier work for us. (WHO DOES ToT WORK FOR?) While that dominance is now second nature, it didn’t happen overnight. It required a lot of wipes and discipline on our part to get there. To think that Lei Shen or Ra-den would be any different would be ill-advised to say the least. It is something to build on going forward into Siege of Orgrimmar, knowing full well we have the capacity to quickly adapt and learn non end-tier fights.

Sadism/Submission

Uncle? Uncle. There is no other way to describe what other dialogue the bosses could have after encountering us. Horridon was merely a setback? We set you back to the Dark Ages, Jalak. Submission is sometimes a double edged sword, and there has been our fair share of nights where the mechanics, for one reason or another, just completely decimated us. Like the dreaded Fist (fish) Smash. I guess wiping to farm content can be looked upon as sadistic, especially when you kill the boss mere moments from the enrage….

Masochism

This would be throwing ourselves against a brick wall (or glass case of emotions) repeatedly for the next however many raids, and ultimately coming up with nothing. Or, in the same vein, doing something over and over again, hoping that the result would change. The one saving grace here is that we don’t have to look at this content for 39 consecutive weeks like Icecrown Citadel, you know, the time frame where people took long standing and sometimes permanent hiatuses from the game, because after the 15th clear, it really becomes trivial, painful and insane (the same thing over and over hoping for change) to continue to move forward.

To highlight, raid teams as a whole are very strong and unified, and the can generally eliminate the obstacles before them. Its when elements outside of their control enter into the scheme of things, that plans change and decisions will be made that not everybody agrees on. Still, the raid stays cohesive and marches onward. Control – something at times that is so valuably desired, and at times is fleeting. And that begs the question, with so many things to consider, how we and many other guilds have done so far, what would you do to achieve that shade of greatness?

– Would you valiantly push on for Progression, Loot, Server firsts and complete dominance over those whom would doubt you?

or

– Would you remind yourself that you didn’t get here alone, and help those achieve the same greatness you have obtained, even if it means compromising some of your own goals?

This is the crux we (and perhaps other guilds) face at the moment when, with little provocation, the end of arena season was announced for August 27th. Kind of interesting how dedicated PvPers get an end date for their season, but new raid content is on a tentative. Let the cards fall and see what happens.

What would you do for your Fifty Shades of Great?

Confined to the binding that is reality.

Confined to the binding that is reality.

Gearing Up in Throne of Thunder

Posted in Priest, PvE, Reasons I am Going Insane, Shameless Plugs, WoW on March 21, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Hello everyone, now that 5.2 has been out and about for a bit and everyone has had a chance to get accustomed to their toons, especially priests, with changes to Shadow Word: Insanity becoming Solace and Insanity, as well as Shadowy Apparitions and the t15 set focusing around them, its time to gear up your face melter and dispense some multi-dottinal, YES I SAID MULTI-DOTTINAL, justice. Also, If you’re looking to dispense you’re muli-dottinal justice somewhere, why not here at Apotheosis? Lets take a look at the changes first so you can know what to expect going forward:

 

Solace And Insanity

 

Devouring Plague now causes your mind flay to deal 33% more damage per orb for the duration of DP being active on the target. For you, this means you get 3 mind flays per devouring plague that will deal double damage. The debuff lasts between 6 and 6.4 seconds, with your mind flay channel being around the 2.3 second area, with one 1 second GCD lost after casting DP. Leaves you with .4 to .8 seconds to start that last MF, and the damage buff will continue after the debuff expires.

 

Shadowy Apparitions

 

Shadow Apparitions occur when your shadow word: pain crits, and if you go for the 4 set t15 bonus, has a 10% chance to spawn when Vampiric Touch deals damage. The two set bonus also give your SA’s a 65% chance to increase the duration of your VT and SW:P, letting them deal damage one additional time. The two set bonus looks good, but haven’t we seen this song and dance before? Good job on creativity there. Up until recently, shadow apparitions had a cap of 3, but since then has been increased to 4, as well as having had their AI improved to move faster and now hit air targets sometimes. Ghostcrawler clarified this.  What intrigues me is this queue that now exists for shadowy apparitions. Its like telling us, we understand your class is strong in multi dot situations, like warlocks, but we are going to slow your proc based dps a bit here (on a spell that accounts for all of 0.7% of damage done). Not to mention if a target goes invis, like Megaera’s head, you lose all of those SA’s, and any that may now exists in this queue as well. This to me is why the 4 set bonus is something you want to avoid when choosing to gear up. I am personally not a fan of shadowy apparitions in their current state, and the last time I enjoyed them was when they first came out and had a 60% chance to proc if you were moving when the damage ticked on SW:P. And for high mobility fights, like most are nowadays, returning to this design would be a welcomed change in my opinion. Or you know, a 1% buff  to SW:P, VT, MF, and DP, would counter balance the “procs” and we could not center sets around a still flaky mechanic. <INSERT RAEG HERE>

 

So without further adieu, here we go!:

 

Head:

Hood of the Exorcist – Twin Consorts – +1318 Intellect  +950 Spirit +867 Haste  Yellow Socket  Socket Bonus: +180 Critical Strike

Analysis: The flamecaster’s crown has the best stats on it to start, but the 2 set is worth something, and over the other pieces to get, this is one you want. If it drops, Hood of the Crimson Wake is an upgrade over anything in the previous tier and raid finder, but mastery…. ew… Choice: Tier Helm

 

Shoulders (Knees and Toes?):

Shouldersguards of the Exorcist – Iron Qon – +998 Intellect+653 Critical Strike +715 Haste Red Socket Yellow Socket Socket Bonus: +120 Haste

Analysis: The shared dropped shoulders are really nice with a high amount of haste, if you can get them, or these, off jin’rokh good for you. If you aren’t as lucky with drops, the rep shoulders are also nice, despite lacking gem sockets, but the grind is going to take a while. In the end though, the tier shoulders have your ideal stats, and not only a red, but a yellow socket with a haste bonus in the end, and will complete your two set.  Choice:  Tier Shoulders

 

Chest:

Robes of Mutagenic Blood – Primordius – +1398 Intellect  +990 Critical Strike   +907 Haste  Red Socket(2) Socket Bonus: +120 Intellect

Analysis: With two red sockets, and your 2 set tier 15 bonus already locked up, this item is just begging to be worn and increase your performance in a heartbeat. If you can snag a kill on Oondasta, these robes will definitely be a service to you. Likewise, since Primordius is a bit farther in the instance, these from the council, will also suffice. Blue sockets, you so crazy. Choice: Robes of Mutagenic Blood

 

Cloak:

Deadly Glare Cape – Durumu the Forgotten – +788 Intellect +510 Critical Strike  +556 Haste  Red Socket Socket Bonus: +60 Intellect

Analysis: This one is basically a toss up with the cloak from Dark Animus. It all depends how much hit you need in your gear at this point. And if you can kill Ra-Den (providing people get to that boss anytime soon), you should snag this little gem. Choice: Deadly Glare Cape

 

Bracers:

Vaccinator’s Armwraps – Horridon – +868 Intellect +579 Spirit +579 Haste

Analysis: Before I spiral off into reckless abandon, I would love to choose these bracers off of Primordius, but in the same vein, I also want my spells to actually land by having some spirit or hit since there isn’t a whole lot on the gear above this. if you are having trouble with Horridon, and have some extra valor to spend, the friendly rep bracers can and will tide you over.   Choice:  Vaccinator’s Armwraps

 

Gloves:

Handwraps of the Exorcist – Council of Elders – +1078 Intellect +774 Spirit +666 Haste  Red Socket  Socket Bonus: +60 Intellect

Analysis: Did you blink? Yes, those are the healer gloves. Their shadow counterparts have crit and mastery on them, our two worst stats, so choosing these with your token, may turn out to be a net gain, albeit maybe not with your healing priest comrades. If you aren’t pressed for hit though, pick up these off of the very next boss, Tortos.   Choice: Tier Healing Gloves

 

Waist:

Cord of Cacophonous Cawing – Ji’Kun – +998 Intellect +748 Hit  +597 Haste  Red Socket Yellow Socket  Socket Bonus: +120 Haste

Analysis: One of the best itemized pieces in the gain, having 3 addition gems in your belt should prove advantageous to reforging and stat allocation, as well as the high amount of base hit. You should be able to reforge that into crit. If you have some valor to brun, and have already grinded some rep, the valor belt is very similar, but blah mastery bonuses akfbvxdjk.   Choice: Cord of Cacophonous Cawing

 

Pants:

Leggings of the Exorcist – Ji’Kun and Nalak – +1599 Intellect  +1201 Critical Strike  +937 Haste   Yellow Socket  Blue Socket  Socket Bonus: +120 Intellect

Analysis: I can already hear my raid leader calling for my head at the thought of putting on pants.  If you can complete the second part of LFR, these legs are within reach for you and an upgrade to whatever you have from t14 (for the most part). If you get to Lei Shen and can get to your 8085 or (with new gear) 10,124 haste plateau, then Leggings of Cardinality jump to the top, with only Legs from Ra-den giving them a run. Unfortunately, they have mastery.   Choice: Leggings of Cardinality, if you need more haste t get to a breakpoint, Tier Legs.

 

Feet:

Dam’ren’s Frozen Footguards – Iron Qon – +1078 Intellect +629 Hit +796 Haste  Red Socket Socket Bonus: +60 Haste

Analysis: Really Liking the amount of increased red sockets on this gear, it seemed a little sparse in tier 14.  If you know of a tailor, and have 6 haunting spirits, the crafted boots are a good option as well. Also, since Iron Qon is a bit in as well, the boots from Megaera are also nice, especially if you are at a haste plateau. Choice: Dam’ren’s Frozen Footguards

 

Weapons:

Torall, Rod of the Shattered Throne – Lei Shen – +668 Intellect +468 Spirit +298 Haste  +8926 Spell Power Red Socket  Socket Bonus: +60 Intellect

Lei Shen’s Orb of Command – Lei Shen (O RLY?) – +788 Intellect +589 Critical Strike +454 Haste Red Socket Socket Bonus: +60 Intellect

Analysis: Pipe dream situation to snag this combination from the same boss, but there are other options for your main hand, and off hands that are available sooner in the instance if you cannot get to or defeat Lei Shen. Choice: Torall and Lei Shen’s Orb.

 

Amulets and Rings:

Necklace of the Terra-Cotta Invoker – Trash Mobs – +788 Intellect  +564 Hit   +496 Haste   Red Socket  Socket Bonus: +60 Hit

Analysis: Well, this is a first for this expansion, something with sexy itemization that isn’t from a boss. The only other haste amulet has 2 blue sockets,unless you can kill Oondasta, and your other available option is from Megaera. Having a red socket and perfect stats puts the trash neck over the top. Choice: necklace of the Terra-Cotta Invoker.

 

Signet of the Shado-Pan Assault – Shado-Pan Assault (Friendly) – +868 Intellect +579 Critical Strike   +579 Haste

Durumu’s Captive Eyeball – Durumu the Forgotten –  +788 Intellect +588 Spirit +437 Critical Strike   Red Socket  Socket Bonus: +60 Spirit

Analysis: Lack of stand out rings this tier that are readily available, especially when one is your best come from a friendly rep reward. But the good news is that double dipping for both spirit and hit gear returns in this department. The bad news? Raden.

 

Last, but not least, Trinkets:

Breath of the Hydra – Megaera –  +1552 Haste And Your periodic damage spells have a chance to grant 7754 Intellect for 20 sec.  (RPPM)

Wushoolay’s Final Choice – Council of Elders – +1552 Hit And Your harmful spells  have a chance to grant Wushoolay’s Lightning, granting 1410 Intellect every 2 sec for 20 sec. (RPPM)

Analysis: And here is where dps is made or broken upon. With the introduction of RPPM (Real Procs per Minute) trinkets, there are a ton of combinations that are possible to get and standout. Wushoolay’s gives you some hit that is missing in your gear (and reforging will need to be done), while offering up a classic proc from an old favorite from Icecrown, the Dislodged Foreign Object. On top of this, it can proc side by side with Breath giving you 7754 + 14100 intellect at points in its duration, leading to massive Devouring Plague, Mind Blast, and Mind Flay(Insanity) numbers. The rep trinket, offers a nice haste boost, and a steady amount of intellect, but there are times when the RPPM trnket can proc back to back after its duration, which is 40 seconds of constant uptime in cases. However, it may not proc for a while, but sometimes you have to take a risk to get the rewards of better dps. (And from someone who goes slightly below hit cap, its a risk worth taking!) Other trinkets of note are: Chan’Ye’s Essence of Brilliance, Unerring Vision of Lei-Shen, and Volatile Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault. Choice: I don’t always take chances on RNG, but when I do, I make sure its high risk/high reward. Breath of the Hydra & Wushoolay’s Final Choice.

 

PHEW! I AM GLAD THAT GEARING IS OVER WITH. Now that you have your gear, lets see where your stats are at (before reforging and socketing):

Intel: +14023

Haste: + 9999, This number can easily get to 10124, anything over, send to crit.

Crit: +4959, This number will become higher after hit and excess haste are reforged down.

Mastery: +0  (GREAT SUCCESS)

Hit/Spirit (5100 to cap): +5902 Don’t Panic! This gives you great opportunity to reforge some into haste if you can to get that 9999 to 10124. And then the rest to crit.

 

If you like the shadowy apparitions mechanic, go for the four piece bonus, your shadow clone army will meander its way over to the boss with a steady continuation with the set bonuses, but I cannot truly believe that queuing dps procs is a way to help make the class longer in the longer run. The two piece will allow for more mind flays on your primary target(s), and should be something to shoot for. May your RPPM trinkets proc together and give you some sweet numbers appearing on your screen!

 

Push It to the Limit

Posted in Priest, PvE, PvP, Shameless Plugs, WoW on December 21, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Have you ever experienced those moments playing WoW where you just have that feeling where you are doing everything right? Where your spells, abilities and timing all line up perfectly and you couldn’t possibly ask for a better string of procs, misses and crits while approaching the zenith? That is what is going to happen when you partake in challenge modes and the Brawler’s Guild.

 

“Luck is what happens when Preparation meets Opportunity.” – Roman philosopher, Seneca, 1st Century AD

 

Challenge Modes are a nice step up in difficulty from your standard heroic. The trash has considerably more health and all the bosses are level 93, which means your going to need more hit in your gear as opposed to the heroic lvl 92 mobs. Even going in to heroics wearing ilvl 463 gear, you can progress much faster as opposed to the challenge mode level. The first challenge mode I did a while back was Scarlet Halls. Scarlet Halls was an interesting instance because of how some of the pulls had to be done, specifically using invisibility potions after the first boss. Being the first challenge mode for some of the people I went with, it was a learning experience, as getting to the number of mobs kill required can be difficult while trying to skip enemies. We eventually got a bronze and for the first time going through, look forward for the challenge of coming back for a better time.

 

Fast forward a few months and we enter the Gate of the Setting Sun instance. Considered one of the “easier”, and by easier I mean MOTHER OF GOD IT HURTS easy, challenge modes, we set forth into the instance to see how it would pan out.  A few general tip for any group going in there: You are going to have to pull multiple packs at a time if you want to go for the gold medal time. For GSS, the gold timer is 13:00, which for 4 bosses and trash is cumbersome.  And now for shadow priest tactics!

 

Your spec and talent choices do matter, also your secondary stats (aside from hit) and going to be reduced for item normalization. And while its nice to aim towards crit and mastery, since its mathematically impossible to get to 8085 haste in ilvl 463 gear, you do want to have a decent bit of haste because you will be multi-dotting early and on every pull.

 

What to Bring with You!:

Depending on how long with wish to try the challenge mode you should bring:

– 1 to 3 Flasks of the Warm Sun

– 30+ Potions of the Jade Serpent (Use liberally, on every trash pull, make sure its available for boss pulls)

– 10 to 15 Mogu Fish Stew (+300 intel)

 

Spec:

Tier 1: Psyfiend. You are going to be using your fear as a means of a disorient to take some pressure of your tank and healer. Void Tendrils just roots and you want a little staggering so your tank isn’t being plastered with anything other than beer at some point in the run.

Tier 2: Pick. Nothing here that will be gamebreaking for your run. If you get aggro on something, phantasm wont save you because most things will be a one or two shot on cloth.

Tier 3: From Darkness, Comes Light. With a full set of dots on mobs your are engaged with, you have many chances to gain Mind Spike procs. USE ALL THE PROCS when you get them.

Tier 4: Desperate Prayer. The occasional heavy splash from AoE will hurt and this will allow the healer to focus on the tank. Will also come in handy for a later macro.

Tier 5: Twist of Faith. Mobs constantly dying around you will give you about a 50% uptime on this buff for the instance, and 15% more damage in a timed run, absolutely.

Tier 6: Halo. When you are at length, and not huddled under a smoke bomb, halo will serve as a power side heal and damage source.

 

Glyphs:

Minors: Any – These are nothing but cosmetics.

Majors: 1) Mind Spike – Reducing the cast of Mind Blast allows for more casts and the ability to cast on the run. 2) Inner Sanctum – 6% less spell damage taken, will help your healer a lot by the end of the run. 3) Dark Binding – Casting PoM and Renew, especially while in between packs will help conserve your healer’s mana, since you should be close to full most of the run.

 

Suggested Macros:

Set the tank as your focus, then:

/target=focus

/cast Void Shift

/cast Desperate Prayer

 

After a handful of pulls, we were able to engage Raigonn with about 2.5 minutes remaining. You are going to be ready to cycle people up to the Weak Spot asap to nuke it down, as its the hardest part of the encounter. With one final heroism and potion we gave the boss everything we had and got a time of……. 12:42! Our first gold level challenge mode completed. The composition was Brewmaster Monk, Arcane Mage, Frost DK, Shadow Priest, Disc Priest.

Hot Tips:  Dot all the things and use your Void Shift macro and Hymn of Hope  at your discretion.

 

The Brawler’s Guild

The Brawler’s Guild is a new feature brought about by 5.1. One can attain an invite to the guild one of three ways; By winning a bid off the Black Market Auction House, By getting a drop off one of the three horde(or alliance) rares in Krasarang Wilds, or by having a friend give you a pass after they get to rank 7 with the guild. The Brawler’s Guild is a place for people to test their individual strength against a set of increasingly difficult challenges as they move up in the ranks.

 

As I descended down the deeprun tram, a rowdy hooligan had shouted at me: “YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR FUCKING LEGPLATES!” And it had dawned on me that I didn’t even own a set of legplates to begin with.

As it starts out, the first few fights are about as difficult as one of the high level Pandaria rares, a bit of smart thinking and movement and you will progress to the next round. You can get some brawl specific potions from the quartermaster outside the ring, they cost 70 silver and can be used twice in a fight if used as a pre-pot. As you climb into rank 4 and 5, the fights start becoming noticeably harder, and you are going to need to use some creative thinking to further advance. By the time you get to rank 7 and 8 there are many elements now apart of the brawl, that you will have to keep track of 4 to 5 elements in order to survive. All fights in the Brawler’s Guild have a 2 minute berserk timer.

 

Because the brawling area is in a Cross-Realm zoning, you will be with multiple people at once, this is a good chance for you to group up and share buffs, to give yourself  (and others) the best possible chance to overcome the fight. Early on in the fights, your spec wont matter too much, as long at you keep dots rolling on the target. The biggest headache I (and most people) had was Battletron. Battletron received a health buff at now has 9.6M hp. It also spawns a set of 8 proximity mines around it, that will detonate for 75k damage each time a spell passes through one. This will create an opening which you can damage it through, but if Battletron drops below 5 proximity mines, it will re-create a brand new set. What this means is, you have to be able to do 82k dps, while being able to move around in the opening created by the mine explosions and heal yourself for the damage dealt to you. Abysmally hard. You will have to alter your spec some, in order to hit this timer before the arena fills with fire, instantly killing you. If you are just entering the Brawler’s Guild, try playing with this spec:

 

Tier 1: Psyfiend. The mobs will generally chew through the roots in 1 hit, while your psyfiend fearing mobs will allow so some time to cast some of your nukes, like Mind Blast and Mind Flay. And if you are feeling adventurous, try to MC one of your opponents, it might work!

Tier 2: Body and Soul. Using PW:Shield is a must, and with the speed increase, you should be able to get some distance to cast a nuke or dot when you aren’t tanking and need some recover time.

Tier 3: From Darkness, Comes Light. You are going to be moving a considerable amount on these fights, and getting a mind spike proc allows you to nuke on the run.

Tier 4: Desperate Prayer. While Angelic Bulwark has a shorter cooldown, it doesn’t absorb as much as the heal from DP, and you will only be able to use each once during a brawl.

Tier 5: (Shocker Alert). Divine Insight. As much as I have been an advocate for not using this talent, it shines a lot here, especially for the later rank when you need to dot and MOVE. The latter fights also have a lot more hp, so the amount of use you will get from ToF or PI is very, very small.

Tier 6: Halo. Same reasons as for challenge modes, high damage at long range that can be a difference maker on enrage fights.

 

You want to bring the same glyph setup and consumables to the Brawler’s Guild, but you can buy potions there instead of using the more expensive raid versions. Some tips for the Brawler’s guild:

– Let your Shadowfiend do some work! All of the mobs in the Brawler’s guild have a moderate threat table, so you can send your shadowfiend out and fade, allowing you to get off some nuke while your pet does the tanking.

– Don’t be afraid to take some hits. You are going to take some hits sooner or later, you can cast >>FIVE<< healing and absorb spells in Shadowform: Renew, PoM, Desperate Prayer, PW: Shield, and Vampiric Embrace. Take a few shots and show your opponents you can take what they can dish out. (Note: Fire still hurts, dont do it!)

 

There is nothing of overly incredible value that you can get from the Brawler’s Guild; A minipet and Rank 4, Heirloom First Weapons at Rank 8, and…..!

If you are dedicated enough to take on the rare Rank 8 challengers in combat, and are able to defeat one, you can get this swanky new (and permanent!) title!

The Hulk Hogan of Shadow Priests?

The Hulk Hogan of Shadow Priests?

Yes I did use the word SWANKY! That was in style in 2001, right? Anyways, if you are undertaking CMs or trying your solo prowess in the Brawler’s Guild, hopefully this helps out. Good luck!

Independence? More like restricted.

Posted in Priest, PvE, PvP, Shameless Plugs, WoW on July 4, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Seasons Greetings and happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian readers. While today is about the USofA celebrating their 236th anniversary of liberation from oppression, my post will have nothing to do with anything related to politics (OH SWEET JESUS NOT POLITICS ON THE INTERWEBS, THANK YOU.). Enjoy your cookouts, barbeques, fireworks and general togetherness today!

 

As some people know, despite having a beta invite, I have neglected to play at all on the beta with the new talents and changes. A few days ago I found myself talking to Walks about the changes to shadow priests on the beta in comparison to the first post I made shortly after Blizzcon, highlighting the initial proposed changes to shadow priests. While some things have remained the same, a lot of the abilities and glyphs have changed. The list of shadow specific talents looks like this:

 

Spec*

 

(10) – Mind Flay: The same old mind flay we have come to know and love. Now with improved spell coefficients!

(20) – Spiritual Precision: Replaces Twisted Faith. 1-to-1 Spirit to hit conversion, but the 2% bonus spell damage doesn’t carry over.

(21) – Devouring Plague *new*: Now consumes shadow orbs to deal damage instantly and over time. The duration of the debuff has been reduced from 24 seconds to 6 seconds. Healing granted to the caster reduced from 15% to 1%.

(21) – Mind Blast *new*: No longer empowered by shadow orbs. Cooldown increased from 6.5 to 8 seconds. Now grants a shadow orb for Devouring Plague or Psychic Horror.

(21) – Shadow Orbs *new*: Now function as a resource to empower Devouring Plague or Psychic Horror. No longer increase the periodic damage of your spells.

(24) – Shadowform: Increased the damage bonus to 20% from 15%. Everything else is unchanged.

(28) – Vampiric Touch: Now grants 2% mana to the caster each time it deals damage.

(42) – Shadowy Apparitions: Now are baseline talents and no longer need to be talented. Maximum number allowed dropped to 3 from 4.

(44) – Mind Spike: The same mind spike we love to hate. May be useful with certain talents, otherwise still junk!

(52) – Silence: The same silence as always. Now no longer needs to be talented. (Hooray!)

(60) – Dispersion: Same dispersion as in live.

(74) – Psychic Horror: The same psychic horror, except the horror duration will vary between 1-4 seconds based on the number of shadow orbs consumed when cast. Disarm is still 10 seconds, and no longer is talented!

(78) – Vampiric Embrace *New*: Grants the caster 50% of the damage dealt as healing, split evenly among party members. Lasts 15 seconds, 3 minute cooldown. Man did they take a staple feature of shadow priests and turn it into utter rubbish.

(80) –  Shadowy Recall (mastery) *new*: Your damage over time spells have an 8% chance to deal twice the damage when they deal damage. Each post of mastery increases the chance by 1.0%. Interesting, its almost like a built-in dragonwrath to go with your dragonwrath already. TARAGOCEPTION!

(87) – Void Shift: Void Shift used to be the level 90 tier talent, but is now baseline. The effect is still the same, you swap health pools with the current target, and if the current target is below 25% health, they are brought up to 25% health.

(90) – Symbiosis (Druid) *new*: Grants the caster a version of the casting druid’s spells for a version of your own. Persists through death, cannot be cast in combat.  For shadow priests, we will always get Tranquility no matter what spec of druid  may link with us. This form of tranquility DOES NOT drop shadowform.

 

By a quick look of the shadow-centric talents, there aren’t a lot of  really striking changes that are favorable to the PvE environment for shadow priests. Psychic Horror and Silence are nice to have, except they are both useless in raids. Shadowy Recall has some promise to it, although I wish the amount gained through mastery was much higher than 1% per point. Shadow Tranquility is nice in not having to drop shadowfrom, but it takes away from our role as a damage dealer for that time period. The empowered mind blasts were very nice combined with the increase in cooldown, and even then only taking a tier talent can grant a quicker proc, I have a feeling Mind Blast is going to be going down in far of damage output, hopefully empowering Devouring Plague makes up for it. Speaking of which, reducing that damage returned from that to 1% is extremely abysmal, they should just remove that mechanic entirely because the amount of healing it will do in 6 seconds will not help any raid encounter in a matter of life or death. I am not enthused at all by the radical changes to priests, nor am I by the fact that since BC, all the devs were able to thing up for us were Dispersion and Mind Spike. With Void Shift being a baseline talent it looks like shadow priests may have a few raid/tank cooldowns in their arsenal still.

 

Prime Glyphs have also been removed, with both the major and minor glyphs functioning either aesthetically or providing a damage reduction, instead of enhancing some of our damage dealing spells. Mind Flay now increases our movement speed (which is amazing when you have to stand still to cast the spell, by the way), and no longer slows the target down. Shadow Word: Death now allows you to cast it anytime, but for 25% of the damage, and you get full recoil, which can hurt in the execute range. Glyph of Disperion got it cooldown reduction cut from 45 seconds to 15 seconds and the same for Psychic Horror, which went from 30 to 10 seconds. A lot of the glyphs that are in the system right now, almost make me feel like I can raid (to my fullest potential) without having to run any glyphs (from a DPS perspective). Glyphs, such as Inner Sanctum, which reduces all spell damage by 6%, will ostensibly help your raid, but I like to think that since my role is dealing damage, that you know, they have something that facilitate the dealing of damage by one or some of our spells. I will get into talking about the tier talents soon(tm), but at the rate that they have changed so many times for priests since they first came out in October, I don’t feel giving them an assessment now, when they might change again, is worth it. Whereas, w know the baseline spells are going to be there when Mists is released.

 

I am hopeful that priests will be a polished class by the time Mists comes out, I just hope we do not have to do a lot of relearning how to play our classes, no matter what class it might be. Have a safe and Happy Midsummer Holiday!

 

We’ve Saved the World, Just in Time to Again Save the World

Posted in Diablo 3, Shameless Plugs, WoW on May 14, 2012 by Srsbusiness

The world is saved! Evil no longer reigns over Azeroth as on May 13, 2012, Apotheosis of ET successfully cleared the Heroic  Madness of Deathwing encounter, being the first and only guild on our realm to do so on 25 man difficulty. The fight took considerably less time to conquer than the previous fight on Spine of Deathwing, but the duration of the encounter is what can take a toll on your night of attempts/kills. Our kill took almost 14 minutes, compared with some other fights in the zone which take less than 5. Speaking of which, if you are a skilled dps and want to be a part of our team as we continue to save the world in the near future and going forward into Mists of Pandaria, you should check us out over at Apotheosis!

 

Madness of Deathwing

 

The elements of the fight are still relatively the same on heroic, however, there is the addition of two new elements, the Corrupting Parasite and Congealing Bloods that the raid will have to contend with. Kind of like how one has to contend with a particular group of in-laws friend who plays music really loud in the car that may rub them the wrong way.

 

  • Corrupting Parasite – Affixes itself to a random (non-tank) raid member, dealing increasing fire damage over 10 seconds before exploding from the host. The parasite has roughly 9 million health and will deal 10% of its remaining HP to everyone in the raid if not killed. Basically, if you ignore this, it will explode and hit you for 900k if not killed. With a 20% nerf, this has about 7.2M hp now, and you should get about 2 parasites per aspect platform unless your dps manages to get the tentacle down quick enough.
  • Congealing Blood – Once you get to the final stage of the Deathwing encounter, he will start to periodically increase his fire damage to you based on his remaining health. At 15%, 10% and 5% he will spawn a set of 10 congealing blood at one of three random spots on that platform. Each blood that gets to him heals him for 1% of his total HP, and if he is healed over one of those percentage indicators, he will spawn another set of bloods. They can be slowed, but not stunned or knocked back, heavy aoe and spellweave cleave should kill all 10 of them before they get to the boss.

 

Raid damage also tends to get very high at the end, liberal usage of your dream will help at the end. And for our kill, most players used it between 3 to 4 times on the platform, some as many as 8 times, which made all of our healers very happy. As a shadow priest, you will really like this fight. There is always at least 2-3 things to apply dots to, your talents let you mitigate the most incoming fire damage possible, and when blood are our you get to unleash your twisty ribbons of face melty destruction upon them. Getting to the last 5% starts to get the adrenaline running, you see his health fall below 2% thinking you have the encounter beat, when suddenly you see 6 bloods racing towards him about to heal him…. and then suddenly………!

 

You’re the Savior of Azeroth. You’ve killed all possible content on the highest difficulty setting for the first time (while it was relevant). And you have the proof to show it:

 

25 people went into the Dragon Soul, 25 people came out of the Dragon Soul. Congratulations!

 

But evil only rests for a moment. It is never truly vanquished. For the dawn of a new, reborn evil is upon us:

 

Evil. is. Back.

 

I am completely stoked about the upcoming challenge, and at the same time proud of what the team of a 25 man guild has accomplished in the past month in WoW. To my guild folks, how does getting through all that content finally feel after what seemed like beating our heads off the wall some nights? And for everyone who reads, are you ready to lend spell or sword to the evil thats 11 years in the making?

Sixth – Its Like First Place, Only Five Spots Later

Posted in Real Life, Shameless Plugs, WoW on February 23, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Sixth – Its Like First Place, Only Five Spots Later

 

The number six, it can mean many things to everyone, for me it means a lot of things, to name a few: My height in feet, the number of bloggers in Apotheosis who have posted something in 2012, the number of hours in my work shift, and so on, but the sixes meme sweeping the web is not about stuff like that.

 

The new meme/fad sweeping the WoW Blogosphere is the sixes meme by Gnomageddon, where people who are tagged by other bloggers share some of the screenshots and pictures they have amassed over the years. I was tagged for this activity by Jasyla over at Cannot Be Tamed.  The guidelines are simple:

 

The Challenge:

 

– Go Into Your Image Folder.

– Open the sixth subfolder and select the sixth image inside.

– Publish the image, and preferrably add some text describing the image and why you have it.

– Challenge six bloggers to do the same.

– Link to them.

 

Well, looking at my images, I only happen to have two subfolders for screenshots and pictures, one for gaming related things, and one for pictures taken outside of the games I play, so I’ve decided to take the sixth picture in each folder and publish it. Lets start with the gaming based screenshot first! Unfortunately, I hadnt taken a lot of screenshots over the course of my early WoW career, so most of the pictures from there are recent (2010+). I wish I had kept some images like our first Kael and Vashj kill after rebuilding an old guild or seeing C’thun for the very first time, but alas, not to be.

 

Cataclysmic Change to the Badlands

 

The sixth image happens to be the very first screen I took in the Cataclysm expansion. There is really no story behind it other than the fact I liked the change they made to the Badlands zone, and because I decided that I was going to level solely from 80-85 on Archaeology (Someone check my head, please), this zone was going to be one I visited quite frequently for Dwarf finds, all in pursuit of the Sorcerer Staff of Thausarrian. But alas, now over a year removed from first setting up my survey gear, I still do not have that  accursed staff! Not to mention still getting Night Elf and fossil finds, while only having 2 of the tol’vir rares, and completing both the Night Elf and Fossil rare collection, has deterred my interest in it.

 

And now for the real life stuff, hilariously enough the sixth image in the non gaming related folder ended up being the lone picture of myself that I posted on the guild I was GM of back in 2007-2009. So without further adieu…

 

December 24, 2007

 

I really do miss that sweater, so comfortable. I, however, do not miss having to wear clothing that extreme. Any wild guesses to the size of that sweater? Would you believe it was (ironically) a 6x? (!!!) Yeah, pre-2008 was not one of the better times in my life for being physically healthy at all. Thankfully, Ive made enough positive decisions since then to right myself in that department and not look back on it. I have also met quite a few people from in the game as well, who can attest that I no longer resemble the person above by any stretch of the imagination. Still, I am not very photogenic and my picture being taken isnt very frequent, but I do have a recent shot of me that I am actually proud of!

 

November 21, 2010 - The Captain and Me

 

Some people have seen this photo multiple times, still its the one I actually like of myself the most contented with. That shirt is an XL by the way, and yes, it does say what you think it says! And there you have it, a brief look into some of the photos I have amassed over the last few years from both in and out of game. Now for the next people in the challenge!

 

Dev

Katarnas

Danslatable

Beru

Oestrus

Dwarven Battle Medic

 

Enjoy!

Empowering Your Shadow – Yor’shaj the Unsleeping

Posted in Priest, PvE, Recruitng, Shameless Plugs, WoW with tags , , , , on February 15, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Yor’shaj the Unsleeping is the second (or third, depending on which turn you take first once getting past Morchok) in the Dragon Soul instance. Here at Apotheosis, we recently defeated this boss on heroic Difficulty, propelling us to 3/8 in Heroic modes, with Morchok, Yor’shaj and Hagara under our belts. It was our 4th day of dedicated work on the boss, and midway through the evening, our concerted efforts paid off with a fresh, new kill. Leaving us as the #1 25 man guild on Eldre’thalas.

 

What was more impressive, is that our kill didn’t include any warlocks. That’s right, zero! No healthstones, no soulstones, none of that good stuff. We would really like a warlock to share the love with around here, if you would like to be a part of a progression minded team in a 25 man setting, Apotheosis may be the place for you! Check us out here. Aside from the app, we only ask that you show that you are truly a part of the dark side, and have intent to work through heroic content…..

 

Ahem.

 

A few notable changes to Yor’shaj on heroic, is the addition of a 4th globule he summons to grant him an additional ability. While even with a 5% tweaking, damage output to the boss is still crucial, its advisable to refresh your dots right before the globule call is happening and then move with post haste to eliminate the globule. The globule has a bit more health on heroic difficulty, so not much time can be wasted bringing it down. Here’s a summary of what the different colors mean for you and how to manage your cooldowns, not only for you, but the raid.

 

Blue (Mana Drain):Your mana will be sapped to 0 at the end of the 4 second mana feed cast from the mana void. A good trick to try and use here is your Shadow Word: Death ability right as the debuff is about to expire. Once the mechanic registers as the target not dying, you will get 10% of your mana back, so you have some leeway on what you can do next. If you are unable to do so, you can either disperse for 36% of your mana back, and reduce the effects of any other color effects on you for 6 seconds, but won;t be able to use it for another 2 minutes, use archangel if it is up for 25% mana back and ideally timed up with your shadowfiend for mind spike burst and additional mana, or (at your raid leader’s call) hymn of hope to give back a bunch of mana to a bunch of people. For the blue, keep for primary 3 dots on Yor’shaj, and toss VT and SW:P on the mana void, but make sure you don’t kill the mana void. Here’s what the mana return looked like on our kill:

 

Inflciting damage to myself as always.

 

Green (Digestive Acid): Nothing much changes dynamically here except for the damage being increased significantly. Unfortunately, the second and third color combinations we leave up are blue and purple, which means deep corruption is going to be stacking. The only major thing to worry about is keeping your distance from other people, 4 yards, if green is allowed to pass to the boss, so that multiple people don’t get cleaved with barf and perhaps cause more stacks of deep corruption.

 

Black (Forgotten Ones): Ever a fan favorite, one forgotten one add will spawn and fixate itself on a unique raid member. For this, when black goes through, stacking must occur so that stragglers aren’t left alive when the next group of bloods come out. However, you will have another set of adds when black is paired with yellow, make good use of throwing a dot here or there on adds as you move to the blood to help out. The question arises: How do I balance keeping my dots on the boss while aoe’ing the adds while doing the most I can to both the boss and adds? You have a few seconds after black hits before the forgotten ones begin to appear, so you can continue your normal rotation, once the adds appear you want to devote your time to Mind Sear until the bulk of the adds are down. You want to keep 3 abilities in mind and watch the timers while you Mind Sear the adds down. Those abilities are Shadow Orbs, Shadow Word: Pain, and Empowered Shadow. These 3 abilities will greatly improve your output in black phase, lets see how:

 

Shadow Word Pain: A moderate damage over time spell, during the aoe phase, this is more important for proccing a shadow orb, which is coming up next, or a shadowy apparition, which will proc 3 shadow orbs with the tier 13 4 piece.

Shadow Orbs – Your basic mastery, increases the damage of mind spike and mind blast by x%, and your periodic effects by x+10% for 15 seconds after using mind spike or mind blast. If you can, try to keep one of these available at all times during your spamming of mid sear onto the adds. Consuming one will trigger Empowered Shadow, increasing your periodic effects by your level of mastery.

Empowered Shadow: While on most fights, this will pertain to your dot effects + Mind Flay, this effect also grants benefit to Mind Sear. In dragon soul level gear, mastery should be providing (at the very minimum) 33% bonus to your periodic effects. What this means is that with empowered shadow active, your mind sear will hit that much hard on the boss and all 25 of his adds while its up, and 50(!) on black paired with yellow. For the number of mobs and ticks done by mind sear, its is a massive damage drop to not have Empowered shadows up at most times while mind searing the adds. Empowered Shadow uptime is generally high for shadow priests on all fights.

 

Certainly a wide variety of effects, isn't it?

 

I usually run between 95-98% uptime on most fights with empowered shadow, but its a bit lower in this case, hovering at about 90%. And I am content with this. I can certainly improve this, but it is by no means bad. There is a lot of  moving in this fight, from add to boss, from add to spread out, rinse and repeat. You may also find yourself being called to use hymn of hope, have to disperse to save yourself, or have less than favorable luck with shadow orb generation while you aoe the adds down. As long as you keep SW:P rolling on the boss while you AoE, you give yourself the best chance to gain orbs and empowered shadow.

 

Red (Searing Blood): Similar to green, not much of a dynamic change other than it will hit 8 random people, and you want to be stacked up for aoe healing. Deals more damage on heroic too (as you probably guessed!). You may want to use a cool down if you get seared 2 or 3 times in a row so that you don’t keel over.

 

Yellow (Double Your Pleasure, Double the Pain): Yellow will double the negative effects of all the other blood globules, except for purple, which will cause purple to shadowbolt volley the entire raid when paired with yellow. This means:

Blue + Yellow = 2 Mana Voids and 2 Mana Drains

Green + Yellow = Twice the Acid Splash Damage

Red + Yellow = Twice the Searing Blood Damage

Purple + Yellow  = Shadowbolt Volleys to the Face

Black + Yellow = 2 sets of Forgotten One Adds

The only set that will have you concerned is black and yellow, where you will have to aoe off another pack of adds.

 

Purple (Deep Corruption): This is more on the healers than you, but you will get a deep corruption debuff at the start of a phase if purple hits. Every time you gain a direct heal, you will gain one stack, and if your stack reaches 5, you will prematurely explosionate the raid for 75,000 shadow damage, and if you happen to click the lightwell once (or TWICE! for that matter) while in purple phase, you will gain a stack and cause a raid wipe like a certain priest has….and your healers will not like you!

That’s about it for the mechanics of the fight, with so much going on, its all about uptime, uptime, uptime for you. A steady does of VT and SW:P to anything you can cast a spell on will serve the greater good for the raid. Right now Yor’shaj has 245.4M health with a 5% nerf on heroic, so your raid has to be able to deal that much damage to him?her? while also dealing millions more to the globules, forgotten ones, and mana voids at the right times. Just make sure to be mindful to not WTFBBQ the mana void before your raid needs to get mana back, and to use your hymn if needed when your raid leader calls for it.

 

I guess after reading this post you could say you are now empowered…

 

….  with shadow…

 

<You know the rest.>