Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Icecrown Citadel Raid Boss Difficulty Ranks

People often make the mistake of assuming that a raid instance follows a linear increase in encounter difficulty. It is also easy to get lost in your particular role and view an encounter's difficulty as gauged solely by your raid function. For example, a melee dps might consider Festergut a cakewalk while the healer is consulting his doctor about carpel tunnel syndrome. Below are my general difficulty rankings for the encounters available thus far in ICC, followed by role specific lists. Reasonable minds might differ and I would love to hear how your list would differ from mine.

From Hardest to Easiest:

General Difficulty:

1.) Professor Putricide

2.) Rotface

3.) Blood Queen Lana'thel

4.) Blood Prince Council

5.) Festergut

6.) Deathbringer Saurfang

7.) Lady Deathwhisper

8.) Airship Battle

9.) Lord Marrowgar

Tanking Difficulty:

1.) Professor Putricide

2.) Lady Deathwhisper

3.) Rotface

4.) Airship Battle

5.) Festergut

6.) Lord Marrowgar

7.) Blood Queen Lana'thel

8.) Blood Prince Council

9.) Deathbringer Suarfang

Healing Difficulty:

1.) Festergut

2.) Blood Queen Lana'thel

3.) Professor Putricide

4.) Rotface

5.) Lady Deathwhisper

6.) Deathbringer Saurfang

7.) Blood Prince Council

8.) Lord Marrowgar

9.) Airship Battle

DPS Difficulty:

1.) Professor Putricide

2.) Rotface

3.) Deathbringer Saurfang

4.) Blood Queen Lana'thel

5.) Lady Deathwhisper

6.) Blood Prince Council

7.) Festergut

8.) Lord Marrowgar

9.) Airship Battle

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things that Make You Go OOM

For Restoration Druids, mana management is rarely an issue. The combination of efficient spells and unparalleled mana regeneration means a Druid's blue bar is rarely an adversary. Occasionally, however, a Druid finds them self frequently running low on sweet, sweet heal juice and cannot figure out why. If that is you, below are some quick tips which should help get you back on the right track.

1. Talent for Regeneration

A lot of the Restoration Druid specs you can pull off the internet are designed for endgame raiding and assume top of the line gear. In cutting edge content and hard modes, making heals as large as possible tends to be priority one, so mana regeneration talents are often set aside for bigger heals. Many Druids make the mistake of forgoing the regeneration talents before they have the gear to back it up.

If you find yourself short on mana, make sure your spec has enough of these talents: Moonglow (Balance), Intensity, Omen of Clarity, Tranquil Spirit, Living Spirit, and Revitalize. Just remember, the biggest heals in the world will not do you any good if you do not have the mana to cast them.

2. More Spirit Please

The biggest gear mistake new Restoration Druids make is neglecting Spirit. Many casters favor Intellect over Spirit and with good reason. A well though out Restoration spec will convert your Spirit into both spell power and an almost unbelievable amount of mana regeneration. Though it is likely not necessary to seek out huge Spirit numbers, the stat should be present on nearly all your major gear pieces. If it is not, odds are you are using gear that is not itemized for healing and are wasting delicious item points.

3. Tweak Your Spell Choice

When a Restoration Druid runs out of mana, it is generally because they are not leaning on their heal over time spells hard enough. Rejuvenation is your bread and butter heal. It is also an exceptionally efficient spell when you can avoid losing ticks to over-healing. Do not Nourish or Swiftmend that dps when simply waiting for a handful of Rejuvenation ticks will do the job just as well.

There are also certain spells in your arsenal which will quickly drain your mana if overused. Regrowth is a great spell to keep up on your group's main tank. Its long HoT is a great "set it and forget it" healing option and the spells efficiency is not terrible if the entirety of the healing lands. You do not, however, want to be spamming Regrowth on your raid. The spell is simply too expensive for that. Use Rejuvenation and the occasional Nourish instead.

Lifebloom is another spell which has a place in tank healing, but should generally be limited to that. Lifebloom has lost a great deal of its efficiency since the days of Burning Crusade. Unfortunately, it is now simply too pricey a spell to splash around your raid. Pairing it up with an Omen of Clarity proc, however, can net you some free mana if you are really in the mood to micromanage. Even with tank healing, be sure you let the spell "bloom" and fall off after three stacks to avoid tons of wasted mana.

Lastly, do not forget to Innervate. Blizzard gave you the spell for a reason and unless you have no mana issues, you should not be using it to top off a nearby Hunter's mana supply. Use the spell the second your mana is low enough to benefit from its full effect and hopefully it will be back off cooldown before your bar empties a second time.

4. Check Your Glyphs

Glyph of Innervate is often overlooked, but can appreciably help your mana management. Not only does the glyph provide mana when you cast Innervate on others, but it also boosts the mana received when you cast it on yourself. Though this glyph will not entirely fix your mana issues, it will certainly help.

Also, if you are having mana issues, stay away from the Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation. The glyph makes your Rejuvenations tick faster due to haste and therefore do more healing in a shorter amount of time. However, this means you will need to cast Rejuvenation more frequently to keep it up on your targets. When you get to the point of trying to maximize your healing power, you can revisit this glyph, but while mana is an issue, you would be well advised to stay away.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Icecrown Citadel Lower Spire Quick Tips

Back by popular demand, it is time for another Quick Tips guide. This time we will cover the bare bones information you need to stay alive in Icecrown Citadel's first four boss encounters. As with our Onyxia Guide and our Trial of the Crusader Guide, this guide does not cover everything the encounters will throw at you, but they should give you enough of a heads up so that you do not embarrass yourself in front of your raid mates.

Lord Marrowgar:

Tanks: Stack on top of each other. Point Marrowgar away from the raid. Taunt after Bonestorm whirlwind to regain aggro. Don't stand in fire.

DPS: Quickly burn bone spikes which impale other players. Stay behind the boss. Run out of Bonestorm whirlwind and fire.

Healers: Heavy heals on tank if unstacked. Heavy heals on impaled players. If healer is impaled, others need to step up healing. Run out of Bonestorm whirlwind and fire.

Lady Deathwhisper:

Phase One:

Tanks: Pickup the adds that spawn. Boss has no aggro. Kite Deformed Fanatics. Warriors and Druids take casters, DKs and Paladins take melee. Don't stand in Death and Decay.

DPS: Don't stand in Death and Decay. Skeleton casters are immune to magic and skeleton melee are immune to physical damage. Burn adds as they spawn, dps boss whenever you can. Crowd control Dominate Mind targets (25 player only).

Healers: Don't stand in Death and Decay. Boss will Shadowbolt random targets.

Phase Two:

Tanks: Swap at three stacks of Touch of Insignificance. Don't stand in Death and Decay. Interrupt Frostbolt casts.

DPS: Do not stand in Death and Decay. Watch aggro carefully. Interrupt Frostbolt casts. Run from summoned ghosts. Crowd control Dominate Mind targets (25 player only).

Healers: Do not stand in Death and Decay. Run from summoned ghosts.

Gunship Battle:

Team One:

Tanks: Grab adds that spawn from portals. Do not stand in red circles.

DPS: Burn adds that spawn from portals. Do not stand in red circles.

Healers: Do not stand in red circles.

Team Two:

Tanks: Jetpack to other ship and grab faction leader. Point leader away from raid. Jump back to own ship when opposing mage is killed.

DPS: Man turrets and alternate different attacks or help Team One. Jetpack to other ship and burn mage fast when turrets are frozen. Hop back immediately when mage is killed.

Healers: Heal Team One until turrets are frozen. Heal Tank when he hops to enemy ship. Heavy heals on Rending Throw debuff target.

Deathbringer Surfang:

Tanks: Stack on top of each other facing Deathbringer towards the door. Taunt off the tank with Rune of Blood immediately.

DPS: Stun and burn Blood Beasts immediately with single target attacks. Stay spread out.

Healers: Stack on melee dps. Heavy heals on the target with Mark of the Fallen Champion. Shield targets with Boiling Blood if possible.

For a more detailed breakdown of the Deathbringer encounter, check out the How to Beat Deathbringer in ICC 10 guide. Good luck!