Tobold's Blog
Friday, December 12, 2008
 
My life at 80

I haven't been playing all that much this week, having been somewhat busy with work. But the weekend is approaching, and I'm making plans what to do with my freshly minted level 80 holy priest. There is so much to do, and so little time!

One thing to do is certainly raiding. I signed up for the first time for a raid to Naxxramas, but am not sure I'll get a raid spot. Which isn't a problem, I'd just try again another day. I'm not in a hurry, I think the Wrath of the Lich King endgame will be with us for at least a year and a half.

Easier to organize and to get into a group is heroic dungeons. I already tried a few of those, won some, and failed one, on the last boss of Halls of Lightning. Apparently there is no correlation whatsoever with how easy a dungeon is in normal, and how hard it is in heroic. Anyone know of a list that lists heroic dungeons by difficulty? I'm still a bit undergeared for the hardest stuff. I'd also be willing to do normal dungeons, to help out guild mates for example.

When not in a group, I still want to finish the quests in Storm Peaks with my priest, so that he'll have all quests done in 4 zones. Because one other big project now I hit the level cap is to play the next character. As the warrior turned out much better than I had feared, I'll level him next, and do the 4 zones I haven't visited with the priest. Then I'll still have a mage to level from 70 to 80, and maybe a death knight from 55 to 80.

I already leveled up most of my tradeskills, but gathering more recipes is on my to do list. That involves not only dungeon runs, but also daily quests for jewelcrafting and cooking, and daily or weekly "research" for inscription and alchemy. Some people don't like that it takes at least 170 days to learn all jewelcrafting recipes, but I like the daily quest way of handing out tokens for quests. Jewelcrafters are now actually different from each other, not everyone has the same recipes.

I don't think I'll do much PvP with any of my characters. Occasionally Wintergrasp, for fun, yes. But no arenas, and no grinding of battlegrounds for PvP gear, even if I'm sure there will be nice stuff patched into the game soon for PvP. But PvP is just not my preferred style of playing.
Comments:
I haven't found a consistent list yet, probably because what seems hard now really depends more on skill and coordination rather than gear check so any list is very subjective.

I would put them down thus for heroics:

Easier:

Utgarde Keep

Culling

Drak'tharon
Violet Hold, but it may depend on which bosses you pull

Nexus, though the extra boss in the ice block hall is pretty tough. Just keep moving and stay out of the whirlwind.


Medium:

Gundrak

Oculus

Azjol'Nerub, I haven't done this but most of the forum lists I have seen put it at least in the middle if not harder
Halls of Stone, some say it is easy, I thought it was reasonably hard. Mostly the Tribunal was hard. It is also very hard on melee heavy groups. Especially if your melee is stupid as with so many of the short bus death knight types.


Harder:

Halls of Lightning is tough although probably not much tougher than halls of stone over all except for Loken. If your group is used to just staying close and healing though the nova that may not work so well on heroic. Put some time into get the hang of running out and back in. It is really just a timing game and minimizing the amount of time you run out and exactly how far you go.

Utgarde Pinnacle is also pretty hard. The first boss is easy. the second medium but the third and last can be a real pain

Ahn'kahet possibly the hardest, probably because of the insanity, but I haven't done it yet. virtually every list I have seen has had it listed as hard if not the hardest of the bunch.


Virtually all of them are going to seem hard on at least one boss until you learn the trick to them. It will also depend on how good of a group you roll with.
 
The first thing you should do is to respec Discipline! :P

I've always healed as Holy, but the changes Blizz made to the Disc tree in 3.0 made it an extremely good healing tree. I've heard a number of people complain about mana issues when healing heroics as Holy, but I haven't had a problem as Disc in mostly 75-80 blues. Plus with the (much-needed) cooldown incoming on Circle of Healing, now's a great time!
 
Interesting list I have to say, simply because of how it doesn't really correlate to my experiences. We did Ahn'Kahet easily except for a single wipe on the third boss (Someone moved backwards and agroed all the elites the first time and then the boss glitched so we had to kill the 5 pull of hard hitting elites to get back...wasn't fun, but was doable). Pinnacle was the same situation, a single wipe on the last boss due mostly to people not avoiding the orb from one of the boats. The third boss is easy as heck. HoL I can agree is very hard however.

Azjol'nerub I would personally place in the harder ones, since the first and final bosses are a challenge if don't have a very good healer. I agree with occulus being a midrange one, and haven't tried gundrak.

Anyway tobold, you may be a bit forced to deviate from your plan a little. Icecrown holds the vendor for the Knights of the Ebon Blade and you have to do a questline to unlock her. It also holds most of the Knights quests, but you can simply tabard the rep if you want. Your other characters will be forced to do some storm peaks as well since the sons of hodir have all the sholder enchants. I guess, if they are an inscriptionist they don't have to...
 
really depends on your line up, who has what gear and a lillte bit skill.

with no AoE damage halls of stone is probably tha hardest instance. with your tank having bad gear the endboss in Gundrak will eat you alife. with bad playing people who can´t manage that bit of movement involved in the loken fight, halls of lightning gets hard.

conclusion: with a balanced group setup and a medium- well geared tank and healer your should have no promblems at all .
 
I did a lot of heroics. With both good guild groops for achievements and pug runs to kill time.

I say hardest bosses are:

- 1st and last in Azjol'Nerub (really depends on your healer)
- event in Halls of Stone with tons of trash (everyone has to move and healer should be really good again)
- last boss in Oculus. no gear involved at all - you can do it naked (and save repair bills), but it seems to be hard for ppl to learn something new fast (drakes) :\ i had 3 or 4 nice wipe fests when there were 2+ new ppl so i don't do with "unexperienced" drake raiders anymore
- Utgarde Pinnacle gauntlet. pretty tough for everyone. tank has to keep agro on multiple ranged mobs, everyone has to watch for multiple things and everyone gonna take dmg
- snake boss in Gundark. maybe be a real problem for ppl in blues

Don't remember anything challenging besides that. For some reason a lot of ppl call Loken the hardest boss in wotlk. A few days ago it was mantioned in a blue post too. I really dunno how is that possible. Loken - nerferd version of heroic Murmur (Shadow Labs). It's so easy that I think we 1 or 2-shotted him on the 1st visit to HoL. Never had problems with him after.
 
The problem with a list of heroics ordered by difficulty is that it depends on your group setup.
Example: CoT: Stratholme is considered easy by most. However it becomes far more difficult with a feral tank who is weakest while tanking AOE, resulting in a real pain for your healer who will constantly have some adds on him. Those don't hit very hard, but they delay your healing while your bear-tank is busy taking insane damage from magic-users.
All in all I'd say the hardest ones are:
- Halls of Lightning: Loken requires some coordination, he's hard if you are with a random group or have little experience with him.
- Old Kingdom: Simply the most difficult heroic out there
- Oculus: It doesn't get easier with better equip. Know your dragons or die.
Utgarde Pinnacle is only difficult if your tank is not very good.
Violet Hold is very easy if you don't pull one of the two difficult bosses. But one of those is easy with the right tactic and the other one is easy if you have someone who can offheal while the healer has the debuff to kill the adds.
 
A successful heroic group anywhere boils down to two things: 1 good tank and 1 good healer (skill and gearwise). DPS can come in greens if they're not total morons. There are very few fights that really test DPS players (a notable exception is Jedoga Shadowseeker in Ahn'kahet, but a well geared tank can easily make up for bad DPS). I absolutely hate Loken though. His Lightning Nova has a cast ti9me that's too unforgiving compared to other last bosses in heroics. Add 1 second to it and he should be on par with other heroic bosses. It's an easy fight on paper, but the execution requires almost superhuman reflexes, which makes me think he's overtuned for the level of content he's on.

The other heroics are quite easy if you ask me, last boss Oculus might take some time getting used to because you play from drakeback and use the drake's abilities instead of your own. The snake boss in Gundrak can be a pain as well with a melee heavy group. But again, most heroic bosses in WotLK are the msot taxing for the tank and the healer. This is a design choice I disagree with, but that's a different matter.
 
I have found Old Kingdom to be the most difficult due to the insanity mechanic. Saying that, defeating it just felt great and it was truley an epic encounter.

The snake boss in Gun'Drak is just brutal. If an AOE DPS pulls aggro on the adds he/she will be killed in 2-3 seconds if not faster.

Other than those two I have found them to be somewhat easy and really more about playing well and learning a new dance than the gear check encounters and CC dependant heroics of yesteryear.
 
Don't feel bad Tobold! Based on some data that was pulled, Loken is currently the #1 killer of all players in the game =) I expect to see the fight nerfed! The trick to it is to have everyone stand with the tank and move with the tank, so that no one is ever very far away from each other. We like to move in a box for moving out of the AE effect (Left pillar, left throne, right throne, right pillar).
 
Re: Skadi in Utgarde Pinnacle, I think you guys are right. The hardest part about that fight for me as the healer was the harpooners not getting picked up by the tank fast enough. 3 or 4 harpoons in rapid succession = dead healer ever time. They have to all be picked up very fast. If that happens I could see bringing it a notch down on the list.

Re: Loken, it is not such a hard fight once you figure out the trick but he does seem much less forgiving than most in this regard. I don't know about standing together with the tank though. On heroic someone is going to get that lightning charge debuff. We choose to have the tank keep loken dead center and have everyone stand close enough to avoid the distance tick but far enough to minimize the charge leaps, and then to run in 4 direction before the nova hit. I would simply heal the tank though the nova because letting loken move if everyone else goes 4 directions means that someone is going to go far off center and get killed by the distance tick. I have heard of some moving him back and forth though so perhaps the charge is not so bad. I will have to give that a try.
 
Loken is simple if your healer is a shaman -- heroism and jesus beams make it a snap, with no tricky running around.
 
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