Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category

Malygos in Review

March 3, 2009

Last night was not our first attempt at 25-man Malygos. Far from it. However, it was the first time that we took down that freakin’ dragon, and that was worth the two hours of wiping beforehand! There were only two hunters in the raid, a truly rare occurrence, which meant of course that no hunter loot dropped whatsoever.

But, loot and wipes aside, it’s time to take a look at the (dun-dun-dunnnnn!) WWS log.

First off, for the kill of Malygos himself, overall:

maly25-3-2-09

Number five. Not horribly shabby! The other hunter, SV spec, didn’t even make it into the top 10, so I really haven’t much to complain about. The shaman there always does insane amounts of damage, as well as the rogue on top. But, now let’s take a closer look at the fight.

Malygos is a tricky bugger. He’s got three phases to contend with:

Phase 1 – power sparks and his vortex
Phase 2 – shooting guys down from the sky
Phase 3 – riding on a drake

So out of all the phases, Phase 1 is the only time I’m really attacking Malygos directly. It’s also the best time for any amount of concentrated dps. Essentially, everyone stands around and kicks the crap out of him while the tank turns him away from the raid. During this time, Malygos will spawn two ‘power sparks’ – mobs that drift towards the boss, and if they get to him, will increase his damage output. But if you kill the sparks, they let loose an effect that boosts the damage of players in the area. Only two spark areas will be up at a time, as well.

On top of this, Malygos will pick the entire raid up at regular intervals and spin them around for several seconds, damaging them pretty heavily. We also take falling damage when we get release from the vortex, and the aggro table is wiped. It is possible to shot Malygos during the vortex, and I can usually get three shots in before dropping.

Oddly enough, our raid last night was pretty melee heavy, so the power sparks were dropped in areas to best benefit the melee. Since Malygos’ hit box is so freakishly huge, I was rarely able to stand in the spark and still shoot at him, so I didn’t get the benefit from the sparks as much as I would’ve liked to. Mijikai, however, did incredibly well, which is evident in my damage breakdown from the fight:

maly25-tchann

Now, at first it doesn’t look like too much – as a BM hunter, I’m used to my pet doing easily 40% of my damage. But I only really get to use Mijikai on Phase 1, because in Phase 2, everything changes.

At 50% health, Malygos flies off and leaves us with a bunch of peons flying around on discs. Every so often an anti-magic dome will pop up and the whole raid will run to it, as it will start shrinking over time. Since Malygos will periodically hit the entire platform with a hugely damaging magic attack, being in one of those domes is key.

Some of the flying peons are melee based, but most of them are flying in set path several meters up. With my range, I can hit them until they’re about halfway across the platform, but this still causes me to switch targets pretty often. While we take down the melee-based ones, I wait until we’re in a dome then unleash volley after volley in the dome until we have to switch domes. It works pretty well.

As the peons die, their discs drop to the ground, which can then be used by the players to fly up and attack. Plus, if you’re on a disc, you won’t get hit by Malygos’ big magic attack. Unfortunately, I always seem to get to a disc right behind someone else, so I’ve just given up on grabbing one of them altogether and just shoot them from the sky. Because of all this, I keep Mijikai on passive and she does no damage during this phase.

In Phase 3, the platform shatters to pieces and everything gets hard.

The entire raid drops onto red drakes, which you control for the rest of the fight (and are apparently not recorded on the WWS log). There is no aggro table, just abilities which build combo points for damage or healing. Since I’m dps, my job is simple: do damage. I spam the small attack a few times, wait for energy points, and then throw a firey dot onto Malygos. The dot stacks up to 20, so keeping that active is incredibly important. Meanwhile, the healers are busy spamming an aoe healing effect that requires everyone to be clumped together in order to truly benefit from.

Of course, it couldn’t be just that easy. No, Malygos will randomly choose three people from the raid and cast a huge dot on them. If you’ve got the energy saved up, though, you can activate a shield that will reduce a lot of the damage from it. If you don’t use the shield, though, you’re pretty much done.

And then there’s the biggest kicker: he periodically spawns a large aoe spark effect that does huge damage to anyone in it. So the entire raid, while flying in three-dimensional space on a vehicle mount, continually keeps up dots on the boss while shielding themselves whenever necessary and almost constantly moving in a huge clump.

Oh, and the background looks like you might be on acid.

In the end, though, it was totally worth it. It’s always exhilarating to finally achieve something you’ve been working towards for quite a while. I didn’t top the charts, and I didn’t get any loot – but I certainly had fun! And hey, that’s what the game’s about.

…now if only the background would stop spinning after the battle was over. That’d be nice.   x.x

And never, ever respond to the Green Text accusations.

August 18, 2008

While I have said it before, I will say it again: the Customer Service Forum is a near-invaluable resource for World of Warcraft players. It’s likely that any policy-related question you can think of has been asked and answered there, and if it hasn’t, the people who lurk there will know enough to give you a very educated response in lieu of a genuine Blue reply. Many of the ‘regulars’ have been there for a significant amount of time – I’ve been lurking since its inception two years ago.

Unfortunately, I’ve been saddened – almost sickened – lately by the attitude of several ‘regulars’ on the Customer Service Forum. Too many are eager to jump on an innocent question with guns a-blazing, attempting to strike down the poster in any way possible. It’s almost as if ad hominem has become the norm rather than the taboo, without even waiting for an argument before beginning to attack the poster. This new trend has led me to compile the following list of


How
NOT to be a Jerk on the CSF

1.) Read the original post thoroughly. Then, read it again. You might have missed something – it happens to everybody, even you. Especially if you’re refreshing the page every other minute for new posts. Make sure to consider all aspects of the post. It’s easy to single out one issue presented and focus on it alone, but if you can aid further, then do so. If you’re posting on the CSF, you’re posting to help. If you’re going to help, it’s best that you do as much as you possibly can.

2.) Read through all the responses posted so far. Obviously this doesn’t apply if it’s a new post with no replies, but if it’s a conversation in progress, then pay attention to what’s been said. If everything you were going to say has already been said, there’s not much point in responding yourself. Only post if you have something more – and on-topic – to say.

3.) Remember this rule: Do not make public accusations. Just like the CSF is not a method to bypass the ticketing system, or a place to call out players who are violating the rules, do not accuse the poster of doing anything against the Terms of Use. Yes, the story might be suspect, and maybe it sounds like he’s lying through his teeth, but it’s not our place to call him a liar and a cheat. Focus on the questions he asked and answer them as best you can without bias.

4.) When typing your post, remember the name of the forum: Customer Service. While it’s a misnomer, it does represent the correct attitude for assisting the other players. Visualize yourself as a customer service employee who’s there to help the patrons of their establishment. Write everything with the attitude of wanting to help. If what you’ve written sounds like something a person could call your manager over to complain about, it’s time to rewrite.

5.) If the OP admits to breaking a facet of the Terms of Use, even without realizing, answer his questions first before politely informing him of his blunder. For example, if he wants to know how he can find out if his unwarranted temporary ban for foul language is up, let him know how to do so first. At the end of the post is where you can respectfully – and briefly – educate him on the policies.

6.) Smilies help. :)  ( Don’t :) go :) overboard :) though. :) :) ) If you treat the poster politely, they are more likely to respond in kind, making for a much more pleasant discussion – even on the most volitile of issues.

7.) Read over what you write before you post it. Then, after you’ve posted it, reread the post within the context of the conversation. Now is the best time to notice any mistakes and edit your post before most other people will see it.

8.) Watch the thread for responses. If you ended up being the only person willing to help the OP, and then went on vacation for a week, they might never get an answer to their followup question.

9.) See rule number 3.

10.) Always keep in mind that the Blue response will trump yours. If you think the Blue answer is wrong, only call them on it if you have documented evidence (other Blue forum posts count, something a GM told you a year ago in game does not) to show. This is out of courtesy for the real Blizzard employees, but also to help clarify a confusing issue. If a policy has changed, this is when you’ll find out about it.
.
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In the end, you know you’ve done it right when you see your post quoted with Blue text underneath saying, “Quoted for Truth”. ^.^

or, How I Learned to Love the Forums

July 28, 2008

Blizzard’s Customer Service Forum is a wonderful resource for World of Warcraft players. It’s moderated by Game Masters, frequented by players who truly want to help other players understand the game and its rules, and generally free from trolling and inane posts that are so common on other forums.

Of course, there’s a tradeoff. The forum is poorly named – it should be named “In-Game Assistance Forum” or something similar, as the GMs are unable to assist with many issues that people deem to be ‘Customer Service’, i.e., suggestions, refund demands, complaints. It is also not a means to circumvent the in-game petition system. While the forum allows you to explain to a GM in more depth what your issue may be, they are still limited with how much they are able to help you without being in-game with you. It’s best used for policy questions, or other issues that can be better addressed out-of-game.

Still, with how much the forum is able to help people, it’s incredible how little some players are aware of how to be helped in the first place. So I present to you:

Tchann’s Handy-Dandy Guide to Getting an Answer on the CSF! (better title pending)

Step 1 ) Are you lost?
The CSF is not always the best place to go for an answer. It is best used to help solve in-game or policy issues. Questions regarding macros, multi-boxing, PvP, complaints, the color of your gnome’s hair, are all better asked elsewhere. If you genuinely cannot find the appropriate forum on your own, however, the CSF regulars will be able to point you in the right direction.

Step 2 ) Did you look?
Once you know that the CSF holds the answer for you, take a few minutes to try to find it yourself. There is a plethora of stickies on the board, several of them with answers to oft-asked questions. Skim through them first to see if your problem’s been addressed before, and give the search function a shot if it’s working.

Step 3 ) Do you know your question?
Now that you know you need to ask your question, try to pare it down to the bare essentials. A short and sweet question is less likely to be misunderstood than a lengthy novelization of your troubles. Keep the important information, but things such as opinion and speculation are best left to replies later on.

Step 4 ) Are you literate?
I understand that everyone has different levels of writing ability, I truly do. But there’s a certain basic standard that, if adhered to, exemplifies a level of intelligence that people are far more likely to respect. This means proper punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and a significant lack of cuss words or other inappropriate speech. Writing your question in this manner greatly increases your chances of being taken seriously.

Step 5 ) Wait.
Wait. Sit back, take a nap, gain a level in Diablo II, read a webcomic. Just take a breather from the forums and give people the chance to respond. Don’t take a whole day if you can help it, but give it at least half an hour before checking back. If your post goes off the first page without a single response, you can bump it – but do so with more than a simple ‘/bump’. Restate your question, add further detail, express concern that there have been no replies, just make it so that the new post has some manner of content included.

Step 6 ) Review.
You’ll most likely have a smattering of replies, from both white and Blue posters. Posters with white text are players just like yourself, however, the CSF has a high concentration of players who want to help others with information they might already know. Many of them have been reading the forum for quite a while and may know the answer to your question immediately. Don’t discount them for their text color, and don’t accuse them of wanting green text either (we really hate that). Go through the replies and check for consistency among them. A Blue response is a Game Master response, and that will most likely be the final word on the issue.

Step 7 ) Assist.
Sometimes your question won’t be easily answered without further information. If you’re asked to provide more detail, do so as soon as you’re capable. The extra information will help the posters better assess your situation and supply you with an answer.

Step 8 ) Accept.
When the question is successfully answered, accept the answer. Yes, even if you don’t like it. If it’s a policy you believe needs changed, then you can head to the Suggestions Forum to suggest a change. If it’s something that affects you to the point of not wanting to play anymore, then you can cancel your account and list the issue as your reason for quitting.

Bonus! Step 9 ) 11 Things NOT to do in the CSF
Troll. The CSF is the most highly moderated section of the forums, and trolling is against the forum code of conduct.
Address a question ‘to Blues only’. A Blue will answer your question if necessary.
Resort to ad hominem attacks. People, for the most part, are there to help. Treat them with respect and they will reciprocate.
Suggest a change. The GMs are incapable of passing along suggestions. That’s why the Suggestions Forum is there.
Request moderation. Forum moderation beyond the CSF is the domain of CMs, not GMs. Hit the Biozhazard symbol to report a post.
Post private information. This includes account name, password, secret question/answer, real name, credit card, etc.
Cuss. Against the code of conduct, and just bad manners overall.
Use masked profanity. Just because you shouldn’t cuss doesn’t mean you can hide it with stars, symbols or acronyms.
Use all CAPS in your subject title. It’s equivalent to shouting, and once again, bad manners.
/bump unnecessarily. Give a post time. Thirty seconds is not enough time. Neither is ten minutes. Wait until it goes off the front page.
Make public accusations. Informing the GMs of another player’s indiscretions is what the petition system is for. On the CSF, keep the names out of it.


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