Nov 30

4.3 Launch Part 1 – Dragon Soul Heroics

cata_logo (2) This post was originally written during Cataclysm. Its content may be outdated due to changes that come with expansion packs. Please consider this while reading. 

Questions? Feel free to contact me – contact@sometimesatree.com.


Hi all,

Again I have let my posting activity lapse, and there are some reasons about that I’ll get to. But what I want to do over the next week is a series of posts about 4.3 – there are so many changes to the game and I won’t get the chance to experience them all right away and also get to write about them, so look for a continuation each day or two.

So the first thing I did when I logged in this morning was queue for the new heroic dungeons. For informational purposes, my iLvl is 385 so consider that when I talk about difficulty. I’d run the first one (End Time) on the PTR, so I knew what to expect.

I have to admit I expected it to be much harder, and I expected the trash to be far more tedious (it wasn’t on the PTR, but I figured that for the launch release, Blizzard might give us the gift of OVER 9000! mobs per boss to kill). As I’d already tried it, it wasn’t exactly new to me, but there was still a learning curve with some of the new abilities that weren’t there when I tried it out.

That’s where my PTR experience stopped. When I zoned into Well of Eternity for the first time, I was immediately disappointed – I’d been transformed into a Night Elf (with a terrible hairstyle to boot) and I was running around Sunwell. Or at least, what appeared to be Sunwell. This disappointment lasted for one mob pull, and as soon as we spoke to Illidan, I realise that this might be the best dungeon Blizzard have ever released. It had such an epic feel to it throughout, stealthing through completing objectives that actually made sense (disrupting portals), and when your party grows to include Illidan, Malfurion and Tyrande it just has a way more epic feeling – almost like you’re in a raid rather than a five man.

Finally, we went on to Hour of Twilight. It was cool to cruise through a decimated Dragonblight (a zone that I enjoyed in Wrath of the Lich King, and spent a lot of time in), but all in all it was a bit of a let-down – it didn’t have any kind of epic lead-in to the raid or anything, and the encounters were a little plain. The first boss sort of had to be kited but not really, and that was the only mechanic we could see. The second boss was pretty much the same… We moved her out of a smoke cloud and every now and then I’d get silenced, which wasn’t exactly a big deal because something like 90% of my healing that fight was Lifebloom ticks – there was very little damage.

My group was a pug (coincidentally all from my server). I queued with a friend who is a tank – his iLvl is around 375, so he was reasonably well geared for the dungeons but still needed quite a few upgrades. Our DPS was quite a balanced mix – one was very good, another was OK and got hit by things occasionally, and the other was like a homing beacon for avoidable damage. We didn’t really use the dungeon journal except where we got stuck, and we wiped a few times by winging it. Mana was absolutely a non-issure for me, although I realised I am in my Heroic Rag set and spec still which is very mana-regen focused, and so that’s a big reason why. However, even though we were winging fights and we were probably taking all kinds of avoidable damage inadvertently, I had no grid and hadn’t healed for 6 weeks, healing was really a non-issue. I definitely outgeared it, but I would suggest that these encounters are perfect for entry level heroics – they should make for spammable runs with very few wipes after the initial phase where people are getting familiar with fights and the gear is going to get people ready for the raid all the sooner.

Next up, I plan on trying out the raid finder, and will pay attention to the changed Glyph of Wild Growth, so it may have some log analysis.


P.S. Why my posts have been so few and far between lately – I mentioned in a previous post that I had exams. I guess that got me out of the habit of logging in as frequently, but I’ve also been working on a few projects.

The first, the redesign of the Signal Eleven website – Signal Eleven is my and my friends’ home in WoW. It’s not a dedicated raiding guild, but it’s the guild all our characters are in unless a particular toon is in a raiding guild (which is usually just our mains) that is decked out with all that we need. SignalEleven.net is our home on the web, because outside of WoW we play lots of games such as StarCraft II, Battlefield 3, CoD, CS, Dungeon Defenders and soon SWTOR and Diablo III.

The core group that is Signal Eleven put a lot of work into these various projects. Mostly these are my personal initiatives, but plenty of the guys dedicate a lot of effort into helping me get these up and running, including artwork, coding and providing testing/feedback.

Another reason I’ve been away is I’ve been getting fairly heavily into SC2 and eSports in general. I have been following the eSports scene a lot and I have an eSports community project in the works. I’ve also participated in (and been resoundlingly defeated in) a few tournaments.

I’ve been beta testing Star Wars and Diablo III. You might catch it occasionally on the Signal Eleven live stream.

Finally, I’m preparing for a new project to launch with the Mists of Pandaria beta – a website dedicated to Pet Battles in WoW. I honestly look at Pet Battles and think that it will quickly become a favourite for me. So anyway, I’m not going to make too big a deal about these projects on this blog, but you might hear more about them if you frequent SignalEleven.net, and if you subscribe to my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter or by email – I’d love to know if you’re interested!

Permanent link to this article: http://sometimesatree.com/4-3-launch-part-1-dragon-soul-heroics/

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