Cataclysm Beta: Tanking Throne of the Tides

Here's (hopefully anyway, not too sure about this embed thing) some more visual stuff about the Cataclysm Beta: me, tanking Throne of the Tides on my Death Knight.

The second part is encoding as we speak, sadly I accidently turned off recording somewhere after the second boss so I don't have any footage of the rest of the instance.

You're probably better off clicking it and watching it on Youtube so you can select HD quality there and such, and even the smallest embed size seems to get cut off with this layout, so meh >.>

Cataclysm Talent Trees for rogues.

Before I get into the lv 80 stuff, let me just say that this new talent system will make leveling a rogue alt (and possibly other, lesser classes, but why would you want to level other classes when you can level a rogue, right?) exponentially more fun.

Instead of having to sinister strike spam your way to level 50 before daggers actually becomes viable because of Mutilate, choosing Assassination at level 10 will give you Mutilate, and 20 more energy. Obviously you can still choose Combat, which will give you Blade Flurry (though not the one currently sitting in your Live realm talent trees), or you could go Subtlety and get Shadowstep.

Ideally you have a pair of heirloom daggers around, because if I remember correctly (good) daggers are pretty hard to come by, but perhaps Blizzard will revamp the old dungeons some more and put a few dagger toys in there for us.

In any case the low level landscape will drasticly change, both PvE and PvP wise.

Interesting to note is that, for example the +20 energy bonus will also apply to lv 85 raiding rogues. Vigor and Improved Vigor were those things you never had the talent points and glyph slots for, but would still be nice to have. If you will be raiding as Assassination in Cataclysm, we'll be doing it with a bigger energy pool, which might come in handy for energy pooling.

On an semi-related note, I wonder how fast my guild will level up and have access to guild perks. We're a fairly big and active guild (usually hovering around 100 accounts) so the first wave of Cataclysm leveling should probably level the guild nicely, between questing and instancing together.

Cataclysm Beta Screenshots [SPOILERS]

As promised, a second batch of screenshots. I hit 81 in Vashj'ir and decided to go to Mount Hyjal. I also made two premade characters on Horde side to experiment a little there, and to explore Horde stuff without getting my head clobbered.

Random flight over Eastern Kingdoms: Menethil Harbor.
Menethil Harbor

No, this isn't a watermount. It's a rather interesting quest.
Suunya riding a shark

Gates of Ogrimmar: Under Construction.
The gates of Orgrimmar

The inside of Orgrimmar looks almost unrecognizeable. Note the two zeppelin towers in the back, on top.
Orgrimmar inside

The Tauren get a cozy place in Orgrimmar.
Orgrimmar, Tauren District

And the Troll "district" looks more Troll than ever.
Orgrimmar, Troll district

Because people need glyphs even in Cataclysm: all glyphs at 3s20c. Free Battered Hilts, too. This might be my chance to do the quest without paying 16k gold for it.
Glyph vendor

Further questing in Vashjir.
Sunken City of VashjirSunken City of Vashjir
Statue of Lady VashjWhale shark and manta underwater mount

Mount Hyjal has some idyllic green places, but it's not all moonrays and flowers.
Mount HyjalMount Hyjal: Sulfurion Spire

Comment moderation


Comment moderation enabled. Everything that does not contain spam links will be approved. Yes, even normal Chinese replies.

More Cataclysm screenshots incoming later, dear readers. I have my students job to keep me from playing Beta all day, so I've been gathering screenies over the week and will unload them on you sometime this weekend.

Cataclysm Beta: first impressions [SPOILERS]

I've been going places a bit in the beta.

First I went to Stormwind on my rogue, I needed to re-learn some skills. It's very odd to be able to fly in Stormwind. Anyways, worth sharing with you: this beautiful new fountain, where the new and improved Stormwind Keep is.
Stormwind Fountain

After that I decided to try out the new starting areas. I made a Worgen Hunter with the incredibly imaginative name "Pie" (I know someone will like that) and off we went.

Worgen HunterWorgen questgivers
Gilneas CathedralTransformed Worgen

The Worgen starting area is full of lore and felt really cool. However, around level 3 my pet died, and due to a bug I couldn't get it back, so around level 8 I was really annoyed at running around without a pet. I decided to try the goblins instead.
The goblin starting area is weird in a fun way, and on Kezan you hardly have to do any combat at all.

Goblin Hot RodGoblin looking pretty pimp for a party
Hosted by imgur.comLost Isles

Overall though, I liked the lore-filled, dark setting of the worgen starting area more than the goblin one. After this first look at the starting areas (my characters are only 6-8 or so, there's still quite a bit to go) I went for a peek at the two 78+ leveling zones, Mount Hyjal and Vashj'ir. Recognize anything on that first screen?

Hyjal guard with EarthwardenRuins of Vashjir

I also had a go at tanking the two semi-available instances, Blackrock Caverns and the Throne of the Tides. Grab a small bucket to catch the drool when watching Throne of the Tides screenshots.

First boss of Blackrock CavernsBlackrock Caverns, around the second boss.Throne of the Tides Loading Screen
View when you enter Throne of the TidesTrash packSecond boss, Lady Vashj lookalike.

The fourth boss of Throne of the Tides was incredibly fun, so fun in fact that I'd rather not spoil it. You'll thank me when you do the boss yourself for the first time !

The instance was still under construction - the last boss was impossible to kill because he kept bugging out, there was an unfinished elevator, and Blizz notified us of this in their own way:
Hosted by

Beta for me.

Unlike Adam, I did opt in for the Cataclysm Beta, and I did get in. I'm in the process of downloading the gigabytes of patch data.

I have copied over both my rogue and my death knight. I mostly wanted to try out the death knight changes, but I remembered that being a Bloodsail Admiral might be a bit of an issue if I wanted to explore the world, so I decided to copy my rogue as well.

I will have to experiment a lot, and I'm curious to see how the stat simplifying turns out. But the first thing I'm going to do is explore. I know from the previous expansions that I lose a lot of time with this. Especially with Azeroth changing, I'd want to see what has changed. Beta will give me the chance to prepare for Cataclysm so I can get right to questing and instancing when it goes live.

I'll probably play the starting zones for the new races too. I know I enjoyed the Draenei and Blood Elf starting areas, and the DK one (especially the DK one, oh god that was awesome), and even though I probably won't make a permanent goblin or worgen, I'd have fun doing these zones.

If you have any questions regarding rogues or death knights, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to reply to them once I can play the beta :D

Random ravings

Grab your favorite time machine for a moment and warp back with me in time, towards the end of the Burning Crusade. At that moment, my main is a druid, and the character that this blog centers around is a male human with the two best swords for his level, fiery enchants, hacking away at ogres in Tanaris.

At some point, something in my brain short-circuits. Even though I've been advocating druid love amongst guildies for over a year, even using /g (""\(O.o)/"") RAWR as my standard guild greeting, I decide for myself that I will set aside my druid and make my rogue my main.

Information about the Wrath beta is everywhere, there are movies about death knights soloing elite group quests. I remember swearing I'd never roll one, too. This changes to rolling one for the starting area because I hear it's awesome, and because I'm secretly curious about this new type of resource system.

Fast forward to today, and ... apart from the longer raid experience and gear, my DK has caught up with my rogue main, and will probably become my main in Cataclysm.

What will happen to the blog you say? I'm not sure. I might start a DK blog, I might fall back on my rogue anyway in Cataclysm. At the moment, I'm enjoying my DK more.
Though I've also enjoyed sharing rogue-specific tips with one of our newer rogues.
So yeah, who knows.

Cataclysm Rogue Preview

As you should already know, we were given a preview of Cataclysm talents for a few select classes, one of them being us rogues.

I could try and analyse these to death but since it's only a preview and Blizzard is looking for early feedback on them, I'd rather wait until I can try them out myself when I get into the Beta (Ssshh, it's a strategy *hint blizzard: gief beta inv*)

Anyway, the talent trees are being juggled with a bit, some talents move across the trees, others just move up and down tiers within a tree. Hunger For Blood is gone, as was announced, and we get a new skill that smells of Hunter's Mark (First we get a misdirect and now a hunter's mark, hmmm ...).

There are some talents that beg for attention, though. For example ..

Improved Expose Armor (3 points)
Gives a 33/67/100% chance to refund all combo points used when performing your Expose Armor ability.

Deep in the Assassination tree. With this talent Expose Armor only costs 25 energy to apply. Probably intended for PvP, but who knows.

Venomous Wounds (3 points)
Each time your Rupture or Garrote deals damage to an enemy that is afflicted with your poison, you have a 15/30/45% chance to deal with 616/619/621 additional Nature damage.

Also deep in Assassination tree. No more Ruptureless cycles for Muti rogues, I suppose *sadface*

Vendetta (1 point)
Marks an enemy for death, increasing all damage you deal to the target by 20% and granting you unerring vision of your target, regardless of concealments such as Stealth and Invisibility. Lasts 30 seconds.

The replacement for Hunger for Blood. No cost given at the moment, half the duration of Hunger for Blood. At the moment it's even more powerful than the previous incarnation of Hunger for Blood, so I suspect that 20% to go down.

Reinforced Leather (5 points)
Increases your armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 10/20/30/40/50%.

A strange talent in the middle of the combat tree. No PvE use whatsoever unless we're going to be tanking so I suppose this is to make combat rogues more able to go toe to toe with plate wearers without feeling like a naked clothie.

Other than that, Honor Amongst Thieves is getting reworked, looking a bit like a mix between an improved version of what it is now and Leader of the Pack:

Increases the ranged and melee critical hit chance of all party and raid members by 5%. When any player in your party or raid critically hits with a ranged or melee ability, you have a 33/66/100% chance to gain a combo point on your current target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 4/32/2 seconds.

Addon Rambles: SUF

I've been an avid user of Pitbull unit frames for quite a while, but recently I switched to Shadowed Unit Frames (SUF).

Now, it's not that Pitbull was too complicated or something similar - the thing that made me switch was the rune display. Pitbull gives you this standalone bar with fancy rune graphics. That's nice and all, but when a rune is on cooldown it's fairly hard to see that in my opinion.

The way SUF displays your runes is a lot more minimalistic. I have three screenshots here, the first is the normal rune display with all runes (BBFFUU) up.

In the second, a few of my runes are on cooldown, you can notice this because of the lowered opacity and non-full bars. When the bar is full the rune is back up. You can easily tell I have one of each rune up.

In the last screenshot I show how Death runes are displayed: simply gray-colored bars. One FU pair has been converted to Death runes here.

Another feature of SUF I'm pretty happy with (and one that is also of use for my rogue) is the fact that you can anchor frames to eachother. For example, I have my Focus and Focus Target anchored to the top of my own unit frame.

This way, when I built the UI or when I want to rebuild it, I only have to move my own frame and the others follow automaticly. In Pitbull, you'd have to manually reposition every frame seperately.

Which unit frames do you use? Any particular reason why you choose those over the others available?

The Achievers

Things have been falling into place a bit for my guild and myself, and we've achieved a few milestones.

On my mage alt, after repeated checking at irregular hours, I got the Higher Learning achievement and the pet that goes with it. While I usually am not a big pet fan, I think I might use this in my roleplaying, since it kinda looks like a "mage voidwalker". Yes I look like a warlock in this screenshot, but I'm not.

Our ICC10 team managed to down the Lich King, though yours truly didn't have the time to join them, I can probably tag along on some other run sometime.

Also in the course of last week, our healing lead and beloved co-GM managed to get his last Valanyr fragment, and we went to complete the darn mace for him. This was actually the third time I saw Vezax or so and I was on interrupting duty on it, so that was nice and stressy, but in a suprising twist we managed to get the Shadowdodger achievement as well so it all paid off.

We did Yogg-Saron with three keepers up so the guy would actually have a chance to throw the mace at Yogg rather than stressing about the raid dieing (we were already running kinda low on healers that night).

With Val'anyr crafted and The Lich King's ice cold blood on our hands, we can officially close our WOTLK raiding, almost anyway. When Ruby Sanctum comes out, we'll have to down whatever that dragon was named again, and a 25-man LK kill would be nice, as would protodrakes / frostwyrms, but I don't really see it happen to the major part of our guild.

That being said, as the officer team, we can probably review our WOTLK raiding career now and see what we want to do differently in Cataclysm.

A rogue vs a Lich King

Obviously, this post will 'spoil' the Lich King fight for you, so if you'd rather not know about this fight ... *red flash* you didn't see it.

What this is not

This isn't a strategy guide or such. To know what is happening in the fight, go read a bossguide at the appropriate sites.
This post is meant as an explanation of how Immortalis tries LK10, and how I handle the strategy as a rogue.

Phase 1

In phase one, not a lot is going on that is of concern for a rogue. The only thing we really have to watch out for is the Necrotic Plague.
If you get this debuff, you need to run towards the tank taking care of Shambling Horrors and Drudge Ghouls and wait until your designated cleanser makes the debuff jump to the ghouls (or force it to jump by cloaking it).
Other than that, you just DPS the Lich King as hard as possible, and help out the tank with Tricks.

When the phase ends, the safest spot to run to would be the ranged and healers clump, because your Horror tank might still have the Necrotic Plague and we don't want that to spread.


Phase 2

A short phase follows where you fight some ghost copies of your teammates at the sides of the platform while the ranged shoot at frost orbs. Not a very interesting phase, IMO. Tricks them to your tank and nuke them asap.

Phase 3

In phase three, there's two things that require our attention. First, the defile. Always be aware of your position on the platform - if you should get a defile, you DON'T want it to happen under your raid, you have a few seconds to sprint to the edge and drop the defile out of harm's way.
The other issue are the valkyr, which pick up a random raid member in an attempt to throw him/her off the ledge (not a very cool death but it gets the job done).

The problem, then, is combining the two. Stopping a valkyr from throwing off a raid member is easier said than done when a defile is in your way.
We always try to "control" the path valkyr will take by dividing the circle in the center into two slices of pie, and depending on defiles we position ourselves somewhere when a valkyr is coming.
Collapse onto that point, then spread out again to minimize defile risk. In the screenshot, you can see how we're all on the right side (apart from a naughty shaman who recently got a defile).
The orange arrows are possible paths valkyr will take, and the red arrow shows the danger the shaman is in - if a valkyr were to pick him up, he would be thrown off on the other side, away from all of us - we would not be able to stop the valkyr in time.


Phase 4

Similar short phase to Phase 2, nuke the spirits. They come a bit faster this time and you don't want several of them up when the next phase begins.

Phase 5

In this phase, the sentence "death from above" comes to mind. There's a bunch of spirits coming from above, and the ranged has to kill them. Nuke the Lich King, but beware of death from above. They HURT.

Also, in a suprising twist, the Lich King randomly tries to suck the soul out of people using Frostmourne. If you survive the initial attempt, you end up in Frostmourne, where Arthas' fathers soul is battling yet another spirit. As a rogue, you nuke the spirit and interrupt its cast.


In this shot, the spirit was already dead - I didn't want to risk the fight for a screenshot since we were having a great attempt.

I'm baaaaack

Okay, wow. The last time I posted here, my guild did Ulduar for the first time ... that has been a while, to say the least.

Character progress

What have I been up to ? Well, you can check the armories of my characters, of course, but the TL;DR version is that my guild is 10/12 in ICC25 and working on Lich King in ICC10, and I've had a chance to give him a poke as well.

Personally I'm a big fan of Icecrown Citadel. The atmosphere is Black Temple-flavored grimness all over again, but with the added touch of ice cold blue/cyan. Setting foot on the Frozen Throne gave me a small loregasm... and fights like Saurfang or Festergut are just great to test our DPS potential since, for melee at least, it's pretty much tank 'n spank.

Guild birthday

Immortalis recently celebrated their 1 year anniversary, and we did it by marching through Stormwind and Ironforge, basejumping off the Purple Parlor, and raiding the Horde faction leaders.

Some screenshots here.

Cataclysm spoilers

As with most blogs, I'll add a spoiler tag somewhere to warn you when I'm about to spoil stuff for you.

Minor glyphs and fun

Pewter from The Mental Shaman asks in her post about Cataclysm professions (spoilers, obviously!) what Minor Glyphs should be about. In my opinion, we have a fun minor glyph (Blurred Speed for temporary waterwalking), a few useful ones (Safe Fall and Vanish) and the rest is mostly useless. Now, if we compare our useful minor glyphs with other classes, we could still think of them as 'more fun' - speeding up when vanishing is a pretty unique way of adding value to that skill, while removing a reagent is more of a convience thing.