Saturday, 23 May 2009

AMOV Special: Ulduar 10 Part 1 - The Siege of Ulduar

After finally downing Malygos, AMOV are now working their way through Ulduar. Like Naxxramas, Ulduar is a big raid, containing 14 bosses and on their first visit to Ulduar, AMOV tackled the first section: The Siege of Ulduar, which includes the first 4 bosses.

AMOV Raiders:


Caparzo - Prot Warrior
Deekay - Unholy DK


Heloko - Holy Paladin
Chisuka - Disc Priest
Valeriya /Tessera - Resto Druid/Holy Priest


Valilor - MM Hunter
Succi - Feral Druid
Jammiedodger - Combat Rogue
Rosencrantz - Fire/Frost Mage
Nvision/Valeriya - Ret Paladin/Balance Druid

The Flame Leviathan


The Flame Leviathan boss is the first boss in Ulduar which must be defeated to progress further. It's a vehicle based encounter and if you've come here after Malygos, you'll probably be thinking "FFS, not another vehicle boss fight" but unlike Malygos - this one is fun!

There's 3 vehicles to pick from; A Siege Engine, Demolisher and Chopper. In a 10 man raid, you will be picking up 2 siege engines, 2 demolishers and 2 choppers, with the first 2 siege engines/demolishers taking a driver and passenger and the chopper with just a driver.

Before you get to the boss, there's loads of adds & towers to kill but it's not too difficult if you stay as a group. Your vehicles scale to the iLevel of your gear (Download the add-on rating buster) so the better geared raiders should be driving.

The boss is fun, everyone engages him and he picks a target at random (either a Siege engine or Demolisher) and he has to be kited around. The demolishers also fire their passenger up and into the boss where they destroy his turrets, making him take more damage for a few seconds and enough time for them to jump off and back onto the vehicle.


After clearing the trash leading up to the boss - and wiping once when a tank decided to clip through the landscape into oblivion (Don't boost over ramps) - we came up to the boss. In went 2 Siege Engines, 1 Demolisher, 2 Choppers...hang on, 1 demolisher? Yeah, we had one locked out! /facepalm. I blame Heloko for this - women drivers eh? ;)

With one vehicle down on our first attempt we ended up wiping. However, as we died, ressed, got repaired and back in - the demolisher that wasn't in the fight then engaged the boss - died and a massive AoE from the boss killed us all again. 2x repairs, nice!

Our third attempt well pretty smoothly, we got past "Human Cannonball" NVision's "Fire me, fire me please" spam and took him down. I won some pretty sweet loot too: The Pyrite Infuser - now I'm hit capped without any +hit gems, enchants or buffs! Sweet.

Not worth linking the WWS for this boss really, it took 5 mins 5 seconds.

Hunters PoV

Nothing special here, we can't get launched due to our close-range deadzone but nothing else to consider really.



After downing the Flame Leviathan you come to a crossroads, dead ahead is the deconstructor boss and to the right and left are 2 optional bosses, the left being Ignis and the right being Razorscale. Razorscale has no trash to deal with before you engage him so you can go quickly from the Flame Leviathan to Razorscale.

To begin the encounter you have to talk to an NPC standing nearby and then some adds come up from the ground. These get tanked and AoEed down. As this is going on, 2 harpoon guns get repaired by the NPCs (A bit like the ones in Utgarde Pinnacle) and they need to get fired to get Razorscale down. When he comes down everyone turns to nuke him until he goes back up and then return to the adds (The OT keeps the adds while Razorscale gets nuked). Once Razorscale drops to 50% HP he will land for good and it's a tank and spank from there (with the tanks swapping due to a debuff).


After the first boss, NVision had to leave so we got Tessera in and Valeriya went to DPS mode. We did the boss as described above, wiped once and killed it on our second go. It wasn't a very hard fight, everyone just needs to keep out of the fire! For the harpoon firing it makes more sense for a ranged to do it (less distance to travel) or anyone that can clear the gap quickly or maintain DPS with pets/DoT while running towards them. In this run I figured that I was probably best to do this so I volunteered.

In our first attempt the healers were running low on mana, so Rosencrantz kindly switched from Fire to Frost so we could get some replenishment and it paid off! If you look at the stats below, most of the raiders "DPS Time %" increased which goes to show we we a lot more effective in attempt 2! Surprisingly, Rosencrantz DPS hardly dropped at all, only by 5 overall! (That's down to the increased AoE ability of frost according to Rosencrantz)

WWS report here.

Hunters PoV

This is quite a long fight with lots of mobs with no mana bars so mana was a big issue for me. The mobs which come up from the ground need to be killed in order or AoEed down. On our first attempt I went to go for a single target approach and on the second I chose to go AoE and volley them all down. Obviously it was back to Single target on the boss.

In single target, failed attempt 1, I was in aspect of the viper for 17% of the fight, that's a long time and as a 50% damage reduction that means I had to nerf myself for 8.5%! I got 13k mana back from AotV, 5k from Rapid Recuperation (when in Rapid Fire mode) and 2k from Judgement of Wisdom - we had no replenishment!

Attempt 2 I went for a more AoE approach so the mana-expensive volley came out to play. As expected, this meant I was in AotV for longer - 19% of the time, which is 9.5% nerf. This could have been even worse if it wasn't for the increased mana I received from other sources (Rosencrantz switching helped). This time I got 16k from AotV, 7k from Rapid Recuperation, 8k from Judgement of Wisdom, 7k Replenishment, 4k mana pot and 0.4k from hymn of hope. So for me to stay out of AotV here, I would have to find another 16k of mana from somewhere!

So what does this all mean? Well it means going AoE is more mana expensive but the result was this: Attempt 1 DPS = 2763 Attempt 2 DPS = 3808.

I can also calculate roughly the benefit to me (not to mention every other mana user) of Rosencrantz switching to frost. If I had no replenishment then I would be in AotV more for the extra 7k I got from replenishment. If 16k = 19% uptime, then 23k would be 27% of the time, thats 8% longer. My DPS with the 9.5% nerf was 3808 so without it would be 4208 so the benefit of replenishment is 50% of 8%, so Replenishment reduced Rosencrantz DPS by 5 but increased mine by 168!

Isn't maths fun :p

Ignis the furnace master


Before engaging Ignis, you have to clear the trash before him, which is the hardest trash we've come across yet and when Blizzard said that you'll probably wipe on the trash in Ulduar they meant it! They come in pairs and need to be tanked seperately and generate lots of things to look out for/avoid - some are probably harder than some of the Naxx bosses! No simple AoE threat/DPS here. Some do have a 0.9% chance of dropping the Golemheart Longbow, which would be a nice upgrade for me! :D (Still no Envoy of Mortality though)

The boss itself is hard but optional. It's quite an interesting fight, the boss needs to be tanked and moved around in a circle so the tank doesn't stand in the hot spots he leaves around. He also summons Iron Constructs which the Off Tank needs to pick up, walk into the "hot spots" (scorched ground) until the turn molten and then walk to the water - at this point they turn brittle (You have +50% crit on them at this point) for a few seconds and must be shattered (Killed by 1 hit if over 5k damage) ideally by a ranged DPS because of the AoE damage. For every Add up the boss gets a buff so taking them down is a priority. If this wasn't hard enough, Ignis also picks one person at random and puts them into his HelokoSlag Bucket, where they take a lot of damage and need to be healed through (can heal themselves in there also).

Here's a useful video from for the 10 man encounter:


Our strategy here was for me to Misdirect the boss onto the MT (Deekay), who was standing near the left pool (as you look at the boss) and from there he would tank the boss right in an anti-clockwise circle avoiding the "hot spots". Everyone else was behind the boss and I was on Shatter duty.

I won't lie, this didn't go well. We wiped 7 times. We had a few different problems, from critical people going into the slag pot and dying, add's getting lose and causing trouble or having too many adds up at once, giving the boss too many buffs. Having a hunter on shatter duty isn't ideal as it pretty much means I have to bank on one of my big hitting shots critting, otherwise I have to wait for the cool down! I was luck this time though, every one did crit (the +50% helped!) but for the one that didn't, I was able to use readiness and fire it again.

Attempt 6 was our best one, we lasted 4 mins 36 before wiping. If you have a look at my stats below, if Chimera shot crits, it's easily over the 5k damage to shatter and arcane/aimed are too...just. Bit risky, I think a class which can do a guaranteed crit/hit over 5k would probably do better but I don't think shattering was our problem.

Hunters PoV

This is a long fight and as a MM hunter, that means mana is going to be an issue if you're on DPS duty. If you're on shatter duty you can all but forget about DPS on this encounter. To ensure that I could shatter a construct as soon as it was ready, I didn't fire any Chimera shots once they started coming as I didn't want to waste the Cooldown. As MM's main offender, not using it means no DPS. I also didn't use Aimed Shot, just in case Chimera didn't crit. Nice loot available from Ignis too! (Relentless Edge, and a possible down-grade: Rifle of the Platinum Guard)

XT-002 Deconstructor


The final boss of the Siege of Ulduar area and can be accessed even if you're too scared to fight Ignis!

First off, have your sound on in this battle, the deconstructor sounds funny and his/her (not sure which) animations are good too! There are 3 phases to the fight, phase 1 where he/she has their heart in and phase 2 where it's out (I'm not quite sure why you'd rest with your heart out but I suppose I'm not a robot).

In Phase 1 you have to tank the boss facing away from the raid and just DPS away. He will cast 2 debuffs on random players (Searing Light and Gravity Bomb) at which point they must run away from the raid in different directions until the debuff expires, a little like with grobbulus. The boss also does a harsh AoE move which will need a lot of healing to be done.

Phase 2 the boss rests to get some HP back. In this stage he pops out his/her heart which melee doubles any damage taken to it and also 3 adds start spawning from the corners which either need to be Nuked fast (Boombots), AoE'd down (Thingys) or picked up by the OT (Pummellers). If the scrap bots reach the boss they can heal him so they need to be taken out by the Melee DPS if they get to close.


It was getting late when we arrived at the deconstructor (we were at Ignis for some time!) and one of our healers (Valeriya) had to log out for bed, so not only was it our first time on this boss but we had to 9 man it! (We started our run at 9:06pm and we were at the deconstuctor at 12:01am, having spent about an hour wiping on Ignis). 

Out tactics were fairly straight forward, Caparzo would tank the boss facing away from the raid, Deekay would pick up any adds and Rosencrantz and I would nuke any adds coming which weren't getting picked up by Deekay.

We did get over-run by the adds a few times and it took us a while to get used to the encounter but on our 4th wiped and called it a night and headed off for some much needed rest! The WWS report will only show our wipes but we did come back the next week and defeat him with 10 but more on that next week....

WWS Report


Will Hardmode, the new top-DPS in AMOV, help us progess?

Who will be the first to hit on Valeriya?

Will Caparzo hit first?


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Patch 3.1.2 20th May 2009

I'm going to start doing some "Marksman Hunter News" posts and where better to start than today, patch day!

In Patch 3.1.2

Not too many changes to the mechanics of how MM Hunters play, we get the equipment manager to let us change quickly between PvE/PvP (or whatever set-up you might have) but 1 area where we are getting a nice buff is with our ranged weapons.

Before we have a look at the buffs, this is the reason why the damage on some of our ranged weapons is increasing (From mmo-champion):

"The developers believe hunter dps is too low, so today we are implementing a change to ranged weapon damage to improve dps across the board. 

Bows, crossbows and guns of item level 226 or higher (which means weapons from Kel'Thuzad, Ulduar and the Furious Gladiator pieces) will do around 30 more dps. This should translate to a hunter damage increase of a few percent.

We don't think this will be quite sufficient in boosting hunter dps to where we think it needs to be and we have another buff that we plan to get in sometime over the next couple of weeks. We'll announce that change when it gets closer. (We have some plans for other classes as well, but we ask that you please keep this thread on the topic of hunters and the ranged weapon changes.)

As hunters may recall, we had an ambitious plan to change the way ammo worked for 3.1 that ended up being overly ambitious, causing us to scale back. However as part of that change, we stopped itemizing bullets and arrows. Since hunters could not upgrade from the ammo available at the launch of Lich King, their damage had started and would continue to fall behind as other classes upgraded their gear. This change basically incorporates the ammo damage into the weapons -- as you get better ranged weapons, it's as if you got better ammo to go along with them. This is likely to be a design we continue for the next few tiers of content until we have the opportunity to overhaul ammo completely." (Ghostcrawler, Lead Systems Designer)

So how does this effect us? Well to start with any ranged weapon over iLv226 will have it's DPS improved. Not all our shots will benefit from this but we should see good gains on our auto shot, Steady shots, Aimed Shots and Kills Shots for "free". Not bad at all really.

However, there is a catch. This is only going to benefit 25 man raiders, so for yours truely, I won't be seeing any benefit of these buffs as 10 man raids go up to Ilv 219. There is one exception though and that is to get the Magnetized Projectile Emitter from XT-002 Deconstructor in Ulduar 10 Hard Mode! 

The other option for a 10 man raider to get one of these weapons would be to get in a lucky 25 man Naxx25 PUG and hope you win the Envoy or Mortality from KT or to go the PvP route and pick up a Furious Ranged Weapon! PvP guns aren't ideal for PvE but the massive difference in damage from a Furious Gladiator Ranged Weapon vs. a 10 Man PvE ranged weapon will make it superior even in PvE.

So what does Valilor plan on doing you ask? Well, I'm going to stick with my Final Voyage and hope I can get lucky in a Naxx25 PUG! AMOV are currently working our way through Ulduar so it will probably be a while until we try hard modes but as soon as we can, I'll aim for the Magnetized Projectile Emitter!

Happy Shooting!

Friday, 15 May 2009



We did it! For the past month, the guild has had one big, blue thorn in their side in the form of
MALYGOS. We spent 3 evenings (I'll spare you the WWS) wiping countless times on him, 90% of the time in phase 3, even though everyone knew what to do. For us, we appointed 2 people to heal (me and one other), the healers would cast HoTs on themselves and then AoE heal while the DPS would go 1,1,2 etc. Anyway, on our forth visit we we one shotted him to the amazement of most the people there! :D

It was anything but uneventful though, we had the MT dying in an earlier phase (He got combat res) and when we did kill Malygos he had reached his enrage timer - when he fell we all died at the same time, if this was Street Fighter it would say "Double KO" - luckily it's not though. So we killed him but we were all do we loot? We ran back into the raid and some of us landed on a drake while some of us fell to our deaths again - eventually I got on the drake and was able to get the loot going :)

We didn't stop there though, oh no. We went to Ulduar and defeated the first 2 bosses! The
Flame Leviathan is the first boss in Ulduar and it's a fun vehicle fight - something we really appreciate after hours of Malygos fighting! After that we went to Razorscale and defeated him too and called it a night be continued on Sunday!

We also went on a mini-recruiting mission last week and now we're full! I think the days of having to find randoms to fill in spots in our 10 man raids are finally behind us :D

Hoard-ing the food

I was walking through Dalaran when I saw this shocking display of wasting food! Think of all the starving people! Farming the mats for those is a right pain too....


Heloko's alt finally reached Level 80, now our main healer has an Arms warrior to play around with too - cool. Leveling to 80 must have taken AGES ;)

Master Fisherman

I finally reached Lv300 in fishing. I haven't been trying to level it up, I've just been trying to get mats for the new Fish Feast I can cook for the guild raids. I find fishing in Wintergrasp for the Glacial Salmon, Sholazar Basin for the Nettlefish and Borean Tundra for the Musselback Sculpin works best and can be done at the same time as the fishing dailies, so it's not too bad I guess. 

A few days ago, Gloam and I went fishing in Wintergrasp while there was a battle on. As usual, lots of people were saying "inv" in the general chat so I invited them to our "fishing raid group" - they didn't stay for long! We also got a Wintergrasp mark when the battle was over just for fishing. Nice. Pacifism FTW!


Over the past 3 weeks i've been dabbling in a bit of Arena. I've got in 2 arena teams, a 2v2 with Tessera (Holy Priest) and a 5v5 with Tommytank (Prot tank), Heloko (Holy Paladin), Tessera (Holy Priest) and Succi (Feral DPS). Obviously I'm a MM Hunter :) . So far the 2v2 team have played 66, won 27, lost 39 (win 41%) - which isn't great but a lot better than I was expecting! The 5v5 team is doing better with played 40, won 18 lost 22 (win 45%).  

I've not got some arena points and some honour but unlike PvE I have no idea what the "optimal" gear is! How much resilience do I need? I guess I'll start to get the feel of it soon...

Here's the spec I'm currently using but i'm not 100% sure it's best, I'm also considering taking points out of Piercing Shots (as it procs from crits, which are less likely in arena than PvE) and putting them elsewhere. Valilor's MM PvP Spec.

I recorded 2 games which just happen to be victories if anyone wants to see what arena is like from Valilor's perspective (Watch in HQ otherwise it looks pants):

Oh and over the course of the 5v5 teams games, I think we found the best healer in the world!

Argent Tournament

If I had to sum it up in a word it would be GOLD. Once you reach champion of a faction, you can do champion Qs and also Valiant Qs (for another faction), and many of them are the same so by doing 1 Q you're really doing 2 and you can cash them both in for around 30-40 gold. Kaaaaching! I haven't been doing this everyday but every now and then when I fancy a bit more gold I just pop on over ;)

If you read my earlier posts, you'll know that I'm a Champion of Darnassus, well now I'm also one of Ironforge but riding their mount looks silly, it's like Peter Crouch driving an old Mini Cooper!

Bronze Drake

The hunt for a Proto-drake goes on but I managed to win a roll at the end of a Timed Culling of Stratholme and now ride a Bronze Drake! At first I wasn't too excited about winning one but after using it, it's so much better than the standard flying mount i've been using for some time - the "Soar" animation is quality. 

Other bits and bobs...

I was running a Naxx25 PUG with 3 other hunters, all of which were survival. Llevellyn however, wasn't using a wolf like the rest, no, she was using a wasp! It looks pretty cool and we were pretty much tying for top DPS (even though I think I had slightly better gear) so it's good going!

I've had a good spell for gear recently, I got the Pyrite Infuser from Ulduar and the Strong-Handed Ring from Naxx25 which made me finally hit-capped without needing any gems or enchants for +hit! That's one less thing for me to worry about (for now) :)

I'm going to re-organise this blog a little, the "Monday Yolk" update will just be moved to the sidebar and not be a new blog update (unless a proto-drake drops of course!)

And finally....