Saturday, December 6, 2008

Phase Praise and Violet Hold Breifing

Like I said, I'm pretty sure Alexstrasza can take care of herself. If you haven't done Wrathgate yet, don't worry, I'm not going to spoil it, but this picture was too good to pass up.

Remember Me? /nervous smile

It has been said that if you do no other quest chain in WoW, you should do this one, and I quite agree. Blizz has done a great job introducing the concept of "phasing" into this expansion. If you're not hip to the game design lingo, "phasing" is just when there exist separate "instances" of the same world area for the purpose of creating an epic, changing feel. If you've done the Death Knight starting quests, they use phasing here as well. The basic concept is that it lets the player experience changes based on their personal place in the story line without effecting others. It's basically just a "before" and "after" shot of the same place (with perhaps some stuff in between), where "before" contains only the people who haven't done the quest and "after" contains the people after the quest has been completed. The only downside to this is that there must be a concrete ending, so that everyone ends up at the same place. However, it's neat that it lets you feel like you're doing something truly epic and effecting the landscape of the world. I would love to see more of this concept introduced, even though it is difficult to implement.

Also, before you do the last part of the Wrathgate chain (which you start at Wintergarde Keep in Dragonblight by rescuing villagers), be sure to reset any damage meter you may have. You will get some ridiculous numbers through the last part of that quest due to the nature of the storyline. Trust me on this one :-).

Finally, in continuing with my dragon trend, we were able to run violet hold in the last couple of days among other instances. The advertised level for VH is 75-77 and there is a quest you can pick up outside the instance that will give you the key. This is a very fun dungeon located right in Dalaran that is similar to Black Morass in the Caverns of Time.

When you enter the instance, you will talk to one of the nearby guards to start the event. Once you begin, the clock starts and you will be taken all the way through the event. Basically, you're going to have portals spring up in the room and then have to kill the guys that come out. There are 18 portals, none of which are too difficult.

Interspersed with the 18 portals are two bosses randomly chosen from a selection of 6. We did the Core Hound and the Arakkoa. I won't detail all the fights as there are just too many and they're pretty basic. If you'd like to know specifics to watch out for, visit the WoWWiki entry for Violet Hold using my links on the right side, it's pretty good. Basically though, you should fare well with a tank and spank approach to all of these.

After you get through the portals, you'll end up facing a dragon from the Azure Dragonflight. This dragon does not appear to do tail swipe like every other dragon in the game, so don't worry about positioning too much. Just don't stand in front of her with the tank, as she does a conic AoE attack. She'll also cast a random blizzard on someone which they should move out of, and do an Arcane Grip attack. The grip will pull you in and wipe her aggro table, so have your tank be prepared to pick her up right away. Unlike Shade of Aran, there is no crazy explosion that follows this attack.

Get A Grip

This really is not a difficult fight, and if you just keep your heads throughout the instance, you'll end up with a dead dragon. Remember, at this time, if you die you cannot re-enter the instance, so don't body run. There is time in between some of the fights to pull off a quick rez though, so all is not lost. Blizz may change this at some point in the future, but that's the deal right now.

I have some more random pictures that I'll try and post tomorrow that are not Dragon related and I'll leave you with this little tidbit from the official WoW forums regarding pending changes to warlockery as we know it:

Ghostcrawler:
We have been talking about a couple of different approaches to warlock rotations. One is to try and make more of the dots last around the same duration so you aren't watching them quite so much. Another is just to lower the standard rotation from having so many dots. These are both things we are working on but it's too early to say what the changes will end up being.

So stay tuned! The winds of change are blowing!

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