Thursday, June 28, 2007

5v5 Update

We tried 5v5 again, but instead a geared Resto Shaman replaced the Paladin, and a frickin **NON-MS-Warrior** replaced the 2nd Frost Mage.

Well, needless to say we didn't do that well, and while I'd like to blame it all on the **NON-MS-Warrior** (yes it deserves caps!), it wasn't all his specs fault. I think the problem was in burst DPS. We have a Shadow Priest & Demo Lock taking the target down, but I think they're releasing their burst DPS too soon. I'll see the guy drop to 30% health in a matter of seconds, then it's almost like DPS dies on him. I'm going to work with my team on saving burst for the second half of the life bar.

I usually start the fight by sending my Water Ele on the DPS target and releasing Frost Nova, Ice Lance, Fireblast (I save Ele Nova for the burst). I then start to lock down the Paladin with Polymorph & Counter-Spell. It's during this time that I have him locked that I'm not seeing the burst DPS I'd like too.

The Shaman did great at healing and really knows his stuff. The Warlock is getting used to his new demo spec, which I have no clue about other than Soul Link & Felguard.

The Warlock, Shadow Priest, & Frost Mage (me) are the core members of the team, so I'm wondering what other two would go great with that? I'm thinking a Holy Paladin w/ MS Warrior... any other suggestions?

P.S. The Warrior has respecced MS and can't stop raving about how great it is (we tried to tell him). We'll see how that plays out now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Arena Tactic - 5v5

We had some time over the weekend to run some 5v5 arena action. I was elected the target caller since I know every class inside & out - gosh, I'm such a nerd.

So we get in there and I quickly realize calling targets in 5v5 is much more difficult than 2v2 & 3v3. We went 3 losses and I decided to make a change. I employed a tactic that we used back in Ultima Online when battles easily ended up in 5 vs. 5 or more.

We had 4 DPS w/ 1 Paladin healer. I had the Rogue & Shadow Priest go into their own vent channel to call their own targets, while me and the other Frost Mage stayed in the channel with the healer for our target calling. The premise behind this is that it's easier to control 2 players than it is 5. Well as soon as we employed this tactic we won 8 in a row before loosing. At that time our Paladin had to log, so we called it a night.

I'm anxious to use this tactic again since it worked out well. Does anyone out there have any other arena tips, preferably 5v5?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video Game Addiction - Article

Frost Mage vs. Affliction Warlock

I've mentioned before that Demonology Warlocks lay the smack down on Frost Mages. This is because it's defense vs. defense, and the Warlocks equivalent to Ice Barrier would be Soul Link, and that absorbs (converts to pet) 20% of incoming damage. A Frost Mage just has a hard time busting through that 20% reduction, and killing the pet is usually not an option.

Now, that out of the way... a Frost Mage can, and should, stomp Affliction Locks. The reason for this is their DoTs are rendered useless with one Ice Block.

The fight should go something like this...

Always cast Ice Barrier as soon as you know a fight is about to ensue, this way you get the cooldown timer started so you can recast it as soon as it wears off. If you do this correctly it will absorb 2,400 damage - practice this.
The lock will start laying on the DoTs pretty thick, but don't worry about it at this point. The first thing to do is summon your Water Ele and get him attacking. As soon as the Water Ele is out, be sure to use his Frost Nova followed by an Ice Lance > Fireblast. You then want to use your own Frost Nova and follow that with an Ice Lance also. If both of these crit, then you're doing good so far.

By this time the Lock has all his DoTs on you and is going to try to banish your Water Ele at all cost. It's vital that you DO NOT let him banish your Water Ele. At this point in the fight I usually Ice Block to remove all the DoTs, then immediately cancel the block and prepare to Counter-Spell his banish - 9/10 Warlocks start their Banish cast as SOON as you Ice Block, so cancel the block quickly.

If all goes well, you have zero DoTs on you and you just bought your Water Ele another 10-12 seconds. Depending on the Warlocks gear & skill, you might have to use your Cold Snap and repeat this process mid-fight. Just make sure your primary focus of Ice Block is to remove DoTs, not to buy cooldown time, such as Blink or Fireblast.

Keep in mind that Warlocks are very hard for a Mage to beat, so if you don't succeed the first time, then keep trying. It will also help if you can notice their spec quickly, such as a Felguard pet = Demonology spec. If you notice a Warlock casting Unstable Affliction, then he's your target - use this guide and own him!

Happy Hunting! ^^

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Frost Mage - The Death Combo

The Frost Mage death combo requires level 50+ since you need the Water Ele. This combo also becomes much deadlier at 66 since you can finish it with an Ice Lance, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

The first thing you MUST do is set a keybinding for your Water Ele's Frost Nova, otherwise known as "Freeze". The default key for this is "Ctrl + 5", which is found under the keybindings as "Secondary Action Bar 5".

If you're ok with Ctrl + 5, then no sweat, otherwise I would recommend setting the key similar to your own Frost Nova. I use the letter "E" for my Frost Nova, and "Shift + E" for my Water Ele's Freeze.

Now that you have this down, you can master what I like to call...The Death Combo...

dun dun dun....

Unlike PoM Pyro, this combo does require a couple seconds to cast, so make sure your opponent is locked down with a polymorph, or he if he hasn't noticed you yet - even better!

Start the combo by summoning your Water Ele and telling him to attack, which I do in one key from a macro. After you have the Ele out and attacking, immediately start to cast Frost Bolt on the target. Directly after starting the Frost Bolt cast, hit your keybinding for your Water Ele's Freeze and hold the circle over the target; once the Frost Bolt releases go ahead and click the Freeze on your target and they will be frozen RIGHT as your Frost Bolt hits, usually resulting in a crit.

I always finish the combo with an Ice Lance, and if you do it fast enough they can both crit before the Freeze breaks. If you don't have Ice Lance I would recommend using Fireblast + Cone of Cold. Keep in mind you still haven't even used YOUR Frost Nova, so that's another 50% chance to crit - use it.

Currently this combo nets me 6k damage from the Frost Bolt + Ice Lance + Fireblast, and all that hits before they have a chance to react. This combo added with the damage from the Water Ele is enough to down any foe (*cough* except Demo Locks *cough*)

As a Frost Mage there should be no class that consistently owns you, except for Demo Locks. In the battle of defensive Mage vs. defensive Warlock, the lock prevails.

Anyways, I hope this combo helps. I'll add some more Frost Mage tips later, and maybe a PvP talent guide.

Awesome Wallpaper!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Paladin Bubble...Through Silence?

Over the weekend I had multiple instances where a Paladin bubbled THROUGH my silence, this used to not be possible, but it's happening constantly now - when did this change?

I'm just curious when the change went through because I didn't read it in the patch notes, but then again I don't read them religiously.
Also, does anyone know where this mount comes from?

New Guild

I usually don't watch guild chat while in-game, so it's no surprise that I missed the guild split. I was doing my normal PvP routine when I received a few whispers from guild mates asking me to join the new guild.

I asked why everyone left, and what was the new guild about. I was told that all the 70's wanted to form a more serious guild centered around end-game content. I evaluated the situation and noticed that all the people I liked from the old guild had left to this new one, so it made sense to leave also.

I did some 2v2 last night and we brought our rating up to 1662, but then we started seeing the geared teams, and we lost several in a row bringing us to 1608. We decided to stop there, but my teammate is greedy and wants to try again tonight - I'm afraid we'll end up even lower!

One last thing before I go...

When the Horde owns all the bases in AB, don't attack the Stables where the majority of their force is defending... mount up and move to the Farm, or even the Mine is usually left open. I never understood why the Alliance insist on zerging the Stables when there's 8+ Horde defending...?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Busy Week...

I haven't been back to Kara since my first run the other night because we were lacking key classes. This didn't bother me much because I've had my fair share of raiding pre BC - I can honestly live without it.

I emptied my quest log since I can't micro-manage 25 quest like most people; however, if I accept & complete one quest at a time I can complete 20 quest a session, easily (Thanks Allakhazam + Cartographer)

I helped a friend of mine create a 5v5 team which I joined. He picked the name, which happens to be "New Kids on the Rock" - funny. He's managed to get a few geared people to join, which should help considering I'm severely under-geared for Arenas.

One last note before wrapping up the post, I played my weekly 10 matches with my brother on our 2v2 team. If you remembered from previous post we first went 2 - 8, then we progressed to 5 - 5. I would have been happy with another 5 - 5, but boy was I impressed when we landed an 8 - 2, and even the 2 we lost were extremely close. I think next week we might be able to do a clean sweep to start the new season.

I'll be avoiding the gutters, leaky faucet, and other household repair on my house to PvP all weekend. I'll be buying the Marshals Bracers & Belt tonight, and maybe more by Sunday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So I Lied...

Ok, I know the last post said Keystone was reserved for Arenas & Battlegrounds only, but I ended up going to Kara with the guild last night. The guild has been a couple of times so far with a certain group, but they want to cycle people into the raids, which I think is a good idea.

So we enter Kara and head towards Attuman. I was the only Mage, so I was on curse removal & DPS duty. We wiped the first time, but one of our Priest DC'd right before the fight, so that doesn't count. The second time we tried we downed him and a Bow & Necklace dropped, both agility / ap focused items. A Warrior received the Bow since our Hunter already had it, and the Hunter received the neck piece - I don't think we had any Rogues.

Our main healer, a holy Paladin, had to log for the night, so we called it there. We're heading there again tonight; I'll be sure and take screenshots.

I did some Arenas with my 3v3 team last night, and I think we're getting better as a team. As I've mentioned before my Areana team consist of a Shadow Priest, Affliction Lock, & Frost Mage (me). I don't recall the exact numbers, but we won about 20 games, and only lost 10. I only need 2700 more Arena points for the staff, but I still haven't found the method that points are tabulated. I've asked around in-game, but it seems everyone is just as confused about the point formula. I haven't researched it online because I've been too busy, but maybe a fellow blogger might leave a comment ^^

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Character Update

It's been awhile since I've given an update on my characters, so I thought it due.

My main on WoW is obviously Keystone (70 Human Mage). I've pretty much reserved him to Arenas & Battlegrounds. It's not that I don't like running instances with him, but I could be spending instance time on an alt and actually get more than just gear out of it.

Speaking of alts... I finally let my Dwarf Paladin ding level 61. I wound up with a new rank of Seal of the Crusader... oh joy! I have him specced and geared towards tanking, so that's been a new experience. I'm used to just handing out water, polymorphing, and laying out some DPS.

I tried to level Ocid (53 Night Elf Druid), but he kept getting camped by various Horde, so I just ended up on Keystone in multiple PvP skirmishes. I think I'll head to Un'goro as I've never had a problem with Horde there.

I only log on Hyrukin (40 Human Warlock) to transmute Felcloth > Mooncloth and craft 16-slot bags. I really need to hit 50 on him so I can get his Tailoring / Enchanting up to 375. He'd then be the perfect bank alt since he has all bank slots full of 16-slotters, and he can DE any greens not worth auctioning.

The rest of the WoW characters aren't worth mentioning since I haven't done anything with them since the last update.

I also hit 7x on my Provocationist in Ultima Online, and I placed a small house in the desert. I see the same thing happening though that happened last time I played UO. I have ample cash in the bank, I have a house, albeit small, but all I want to do is PvP. I guess this is how I end up in all games - see Keystone above.

I downloaded the free 14-day trial to EvE Online, but man is that game intense. There's almost too much information to process. Also, there's no way to change the zoom feature in the options; I see this as unacceptable since in today's games almost all features have a reverse, or on/off toggle. I won't play past the 14-day trial, but I'm not saying it's a bad game, it's just not for me.

On a side note... anyone know when Arena points are tabulated? I'm assuming it's Tuesday mornings since that's the normal down / patch time.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Something I Noticed About WAR...

I was watching the podcast for the upcoming Warhammer Online (I don't have the link, but they're on the official site).

The thing that caught my eye is the contested RvR zones will be captureable. I like this idea, however, I don't like that different task weigh more than others when it comes to point contributions for zone take-overs.

You'll notice in the podcast that everything from PvE, World PvP, to Battlegrounds will contribute points to taking over a zone. It appears that PvE will contribute the least, while Battlegrounds will contribute the most. I think we all know Battlegrounds killed World PvP for WoW.

I think Battlegrounds look good on paper, but they severly diminish the immersion of an MMO. The industry has already cut travel times almost to the point of being obsolete (Guildwars map travel, anyone?). Now with instant PvP action, Auction House, & Instant Travel, there's almost no need to explore anymore.

I don't mind Battlegrounds being in the game since a lot of casuals don't have time to roam a zone looking for a fight, however, if you make BG's worth more points, you now have everyone from casuals to hardcore players in there because the majority of MMO players only take the most rewarding path. A perfect example of this was pre-BC when people were farming Battlegrounds for the honor points to buy easy epics.

I would like to see ALL point contributions equalized, even for Quest / PvE content. It would be nice if people could contribute as equally as the next person by doing something they love - for me, that would be World PvP.

I'm sure the game will deliver, but you never know until it hits live, and even then the content patches & bug fixes can still determine a games fate. I signed up for beta, so maybe if I get in and they lift the NDA I can comment on actual content compared to speculation based off a podcast.

We'll have to wait and see...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Best WoW Joke Ever!

What do Rogues & Noobs have in common...?

...they both pick locks!

Monday, June 4, 2007

New Arena Team

I started my first Arena team this weekend; my brother asked me to since he wants some of the gear you get from cashing in Arena points - who am I kidding, I want them too! ^^

I talked him into respeccing Frost for Arenas since he was dieing too fast with his Arcane spec. So there we are, two Frost Mages in Arenas. Well, my brother is a late bloomer into PC gaming, and he has no twitch skills whatsoever, so no kiting for him.

This turns out to be a problem, since as a Mage you have to know how to kite. I'm going to try and teach him some more as we go along. We ended the night with 9 wins - 20 losses (ouch). I'd say 7 of those 9 wins I was able to kill the other two players by myself. I'm hoping that if my brother continues to see how I use the Frost spec, then he might get better with it over time.

I remember when I ditched the "3-minute mage" spec for Frost it took a long time to change my play-style. We've decided to run BGs and some practice Arena rounds before going back in for the real deal, this should allow him ample time to get the hang of Frost.

If anyone would like to keep up with the Arena team the name is "The Frozen Core", a name I now regret since I'm about to add a Druid & Rogue to the team. I knew I should have went with "The A-Team" - my favorite childhood sitcom!