Category Archives: Guides

Keybinds – Guest Post from Vuuk

Greetings everyone. I am Vuuk from <Immortalis> on EU-The Sha’tar, author of Mana Cake Musings, a mage-oriented site (although I post about my other 85s as well). I’ve commented on Tiny WoW Guild before, and my latest comment sort of sparked this guestpost.

I wanted to help out Shoryl with some tips on how to get started with keybindings. She suggested a guestpost instead, so .. here we go!

Step one: stop keyboard turning

In the classic WoW setup, A and D are used to turn left and right, respectively. Your character slowly turns to face said particular direction.
I would like you to re-bind these keys to strafe left and right. Strafing is the concept of moving in a direction, while still facing forward.

Strafing is what allows me, as a tank, to completely turn a boss away from the raid without moving him an inch from where he’s standing.
Strafing is what everyone in PvP uses to run circles around you.
Strafing is what allows frost mages to spam Ice Lance on you while running away from you.

Once you have re-bound your spells, go find some mob to dance around a bit and melee them. Ideally a big mob.
When you select a mob, you see their selection circle on the ground. Try to strafe along this line and turning the mob in place.

You will need to use your mouse to keep facing the mob, and either W or D depending on whether you are running clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Step two: getting used to finger-twitching

Now that you’ve got running down, you notice you’ll be able to use your mouse less to click abilities. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that.
We’ll start off really easy. Pick two of your most often used abilities, preferably instant-cast ones, and bind them to Q and E.
In my mages setup, I picked Blink and Fire Blast.

As you’ll notice, these two keys are right next to your movement keys. It only requires a short twitch of your index or ring finger to access them.
They’re easy to find without looking at them. This makes them a good choice to start off practicing with keybinding, and they’re useful for binding abilities you want to use on the run.

This allows me to do a flip in the air and blink “through” someone chasing me on my mage, or to Death Strike a mob while strafing away to pick up another one somewhere.

Step three: core abilities

So you’ve gotten the hang of using those two abilities on Q and E, but you’re still clicking the others. Why, exactly? There’s so much more you can reach!
In my case, my ringfinger can reach ` and 1, my middle finger can reach 2 and 3, and my index can hit 3 and 4 reliably, without moving the others too much.
5 is a bit further, so don’t bother with that just yet.

You should bind important abilities in your rotation here. In my Arcane spec, I have Arcane Blast on 1, Arcane Missiles on 2, Arcane Barrage on 3, and Arcane Explosion on 4.
Take your time to get used to these before you move on.

Step four: branching out

As you get more comfortable with hitting keybinds without looking at them, you’ll be able to “find” more and more keys on your keyboard like that. For me, I slowly moved away from
the movement keys and now have these keybinds, basicly (although I use an Azerty keyboard layout so some keys are switched around a bit compared to this picture):

Don’t bind all these keys at once, just take it easy and do one ability at a time, until you feel you’re comfortably and reliably hitting that keybind. It’s not as easy as you might think.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t get the hang of it right away. I can’t tell you how much I’ve died trying to hit F to Ice Block and hitting G or so instead, but now that my finger ‘knows’ where it
needs to look for that F, I can tell you I Iceblock a lot quicker than when I used to click.

You’ll notice I have one key with an alt modifier too: if I hit W, which is just above my left alt button, I get an Ice Barrier. Alt-W is Mana shield.
On my rogue, I went another step further and used alt modifiers for most of my abilities on 1 through 5 as well (mostly grouping up some finishers like Rupture and Expose Armor, Kidney Shot and Slice ‘n Dice).

One last note …

I must admit I occassionally click some things, still. A lot of the abilities on my number bar past the number 6 I cannot reach without letting go of my movement keys.
I’ve made some pretty dumb (or epic, depending on the point of view … shifting out of bearform while tanking Azgalor on my druid instead of using LW drums comes to mind) keybinding mistakes before, and so for raiding I often click crucial abilities like Time Warp.
It’s not a PvP ability that has to go off THIS INSTANT, and I’m standing still a lot more in PvE anyway so I might as well hit the keybind with my toe and it still wouldn’t make a difference.

Shoryl’s take so far…

Simply put, it’s actually hard to get used to. I’ve been playing the game for 6 years, and habits die hard. I initially started trying to do step one while working on getting elders. I thought: Lots of travel, lots of movement, this will be good.  I ran places, staying on the roads, trying to follow various terrain details to practice my strafing and turning abilities. (The idea of running around in circles around a big target is a good one… except that I get motion sick with lots of that type of movement, so it doesn’t work for me) That was cool, but the minute I got into real combat, I was trying to use the old methods. I went back to my old methods for the couple of dungeons I did, but I’m planning my night tonight as another practice night, while questing, where if I die, it’s only on me, not on a group. Hopefully I can get used to it enough to be confident taking it into dungeons tomorrow. 

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Arathi Highlands Achievement Guide

The Arathi Highlands are located just north of the Wetlands on the Eastern Kingdoms continent. For the intrepid adventurer in the Alliance, you’ll land at Refuge Point if you fly in, or likely cross the bridge at Dun Modr from wetlands. Don’t try this if you’re nervous about the denizens being between levels 22 and 29.

The history buffs among you may be interested in Rise of the Blood Elves or Sargeras and the Betrayal, though both volumes are within the Horde town of Hammerfall, so other locations might be a better bet for being able to fully enjoy your read.

Do you love the small creatures of Azeroth? If so, you may want to take some time out to cuddle up to a cat, cow, prairie dog, ram or small frog.  There are rats around, too, which you might find too pesky and in need of a good swat with your sword.

Hungry or Thirsty?  Caretakers Alaric, Nevlin and Weston still have a supply of Melon Juice and Dwarven Mild, despite being blockaded into Stromgarde by the Syndicate. I’m not quite sure why they don’t have any Muenster. Additionally, Vikki Lonsav has Melon Juice, Moist Cornbread, Moonberry Juice, Refreshing Spring Water, Soft Banana Bread, and Sweet Nectar for sale right in Refuge Point.

Those trying to rid the world of evil will find the opportunity in 26 quests. The denizens of Refuge Point will get you started, and only 18 of them are required to complete the zone’s quest achievement.

For those bent on destroying the Horde, the Arathi Basin is contested, and its main entrance is located here. (I know, there are plenty of mages happy to send you directly from the comfort of any Alliance capitol, but what fun is that for the true hero?)

For journeyman and even expert Herbalists, there are several herb types to collect, including Bruiseweed, Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Grave Moss, Khadgar’s Whiskers, Kingsblood, Liferoot, Stranglekelp and Wild Steelbloom.  The journeyman or expert miner will be able to hone their skills on ores from tin all the way through truesilver. Harrison Jone’s students will find one Troll and one Dwarven dig around the area.

During Midsummer, the Horde has a bonfire to be desecrated just south of Hammerfall, while the Alliance bonfire can be honored north of Arathi Highlands.

Enjoy your trek through Arathi, and if you’re the exploring type, every hill and valley should be searched!

Zone by Zone Achievement guide for Azeroth and Outland

There are a lot of guides out there for everything from how to level your professions to the best way to prepare yourself to raiding. There are leveling guides. There are guides for pet and mount collectors.  There are guides for completing individual achievements, even the Meta ones.

But what there is not (that I have found) is a comprehensive guide per zone of achievement information.  I am going to attempt to compile one. Hopefully this will go a bit better than my detailed guides to the dungeons, but maybe one day I’ll get back to those.

For now, because it’s how I roll, I’ll be focusing on Alliance. Maybe when I’m done with this I’ll be able to work on a Horde guide, too. We’ll see. Don’t hold your breath.  (if you are an avid Horde player and would like to help out with guides, feel free to give me a yelp.)

I haven’t yet  decided what order I’m going to do the guides in, but I do know that I’ll be breaking out the achievements by the same sections found in your achievement list: General, Quest, Profession and so on.

How often these guides will come out will be dependent on a number of things, including research time and other interesting things going on in the game. Likely, they will be a part of my weekly Tuesday posting schedule.  If you’re coming back for reference, and don’t want to wade through my whole blog line, have no fear. I’ll be trying to keep copious tags, or you can use the spiffy new category Achievement Guides in the sidebar.  Happy hunting everyone!

Blackrock Caverns – Normal Mode

Blackrock Caverns – Normal Mode

 This guide is designed to be a reference for relatively new players to the level 80-85 instances.  While it will provide more specifics than the boss-only guides that are more commonly available, it is not meant as a step-by-step guide.  Trash mobs will be listed as you may see them. Additionally, I’ll include the type of each mob and a list of abilities. I will do my best to indicate which attacks are ranged or melee, however, I will not necessarily be able to indicate whether the mobs will always stand at range if they have a ranged ability.  All of the links provided are from Wowhead. Blackrock Caverns is a fairly linear dungeon, so I will only provide minimal ‘directions’.

The first trash mob packs may include:

Mad Prisoner (humanoid) These melee mobs will try a Head Crack, and Enrage.

Twilight Sadist (humanoid) Sadists have a few short range abilities, including heart-seeker blade, inflict pain and short throw. They will also use sinister strike in melee.

Twilight Torturer (humanoid) The torturers may toss a short range inflict pain or shackle, but Red-hot poker is their primary attack. They also like to inflict Wild Beatdown, to make things interesting.

Crazed Mage (humanoid) These guys, as the name might suggest, like to hang out at range. They cast Frost Nova and Frostbolt.

Note that Rom’ogg Bonecrusher will patrol in and out of the first room. Pull as many groups away from his patrol area as you can before engaging Rom’ogg.

When you pull Rom’ogg, move him toward the hall you came from. According to Wowhead, he will Call for Help when he is first pulled (typical boss… can’t do his own work if someone’s handy to do it for him.)

He likes to cast Quake, and when he does, it will spawn Angered Earths. It’s important for the tank to pick these up and the DPS to burn them down to conserve the healer’s mana.

Rom’ogg has a 1-2 punch that can be vicious if the group isn’t on top of it. First, he will cast Chains of Woe. Everyone needs to beat down the chains, then run away before the second spell, Scullcracker, cracks your skull.  The final trick in his bag is Wounding Strike.

Loot, and enjoy Raz the Crazed. Learn to love Raz, though he will be in your life for a very short time.

Raz will kill a bunch of mobs for you, before leaping off the bridge. Don’t follow Raz. Keep taking the obvious path.

You’ll start to see Evolved Twilight Zealots (dragonkin) on patrol at this point. Try to kill them away from the bigger groups that you’ll be coming on, just to make things a little easier.  They’re melee, and have four abilities: Force Blast, Gravity Strike, Grievous Whirl, and Shadow Strike.  None of these abilities stand out except that the tank will have to soak a little bit more damage.

Also, you’ll get groups of 4-6 Flame Callers and Zealots.

Twilight Flame Callers (humanoid) Call Flames and use Blast Wave. Pretty standard stuff.

Twilight Zealots (humanoid) are somewhat unpredictable.  They can be annoying, as they like their ranged spells. Usually, some will try to stay at range, while others will run up to the tank. Their ranged abilities include Arcane Barrage, Arcane Missiles, and Shadow Bolt. At melee range, they will use Gouge, Kick, Mortal Strike, Rend, and Shadow Nova. They also have Aura of Arcane Haste, which might make things slightly more annoying. Why does only the Twilights Hammer have Arcane Warroglocks?

As you start moving downstairs, you might be tempted to turn to the left and head out the door – That leads to a dead end, so continue down the ramp to the left.  You’ll see Corla at the bottom of the ramp.

Before you engage Corla, however, jump off the side of the ramp and take out the patrol that walks up to her area and kill them. They’re another group of zealots and flamecallers. You may also want to clear the groups standing on the side just beyond them to give yourself space to work.

Corla, Herald of Twilight has two Twilight Zealots who she is in the process of evolving.  To stop the process, have two members of the dps block the beams coming from the dragonkin. They will get a debuff called Evolution that stacks. If the stacks reach 100, the dps will become an evolved twilight zealot, which is bad. So, they should step out of the beams at about 70-80 stacks, and let the debuff wear off, then hop back into the beam.

Corla can also cast a 3 second fear called Dark Command. Otherwise, just beat her up and take her lunch money.

Once you’re done with Corla, continue down and through the corridor the pat had been walking up and down.  In this section, you’ll see more zealots and flamecallers.

Turn the corner and stop in panic! Until Raz the Crazed leaps down to save the day! Yep. He’ll kill all those evolved Twilight Zealots. You’ll be free to move on to the Twilight Forge.

When you get to the Twilight Forge area, you’ll see Karsh Steelbender, with two Conflagrations (elemental), and a whole bunch of Quicksilver elemental).  Around the edges are several bellows slaves (humanoid).   You can safely ignore the bellows slaves – they’re not elites, and unless things get out of hand, you won’t agro them dealing with Karsh.

If you pause a moment to watch the conflagrations, you’ll notice that they heat up the quicksilver as they pass, during which time it can move. Then it will cool off, and hold still again.   This is important to note.

First, carefully pull the conflagrations, one at a time, while Karsh is away from them.  Any warmed quicksilver will follow along. The conflagrations are a pretty easy kill, and the quicksilver will solidify in place when they die.  Because of this, you may want to pull the first conflagration far back into the hallway, so you only need to deal with a few of the quicksilver on each. If you have a tank with high health, though, you don’t need to be as careful about that part, as the conflagrations are a quick kill, and They only immolate and cause heat exhaustion.

Once the conflagrations are out of the way; you are ready to pull Karsh. Two things are very important from the start of the fight. The first is that Karsh needs to be dragged in and out of the pillar in the center of the room. The second is that everyone wants to stay off the ring grate, as fiery nastiness will happen if anyone stands there.

From WoWhead: Karsh starts off with a Quicksilver Armor buff, which makes him immune to 99% of all damage. You can drag him through the pillar of fire in the center of room, allowing him to gain stacks of Superheated Quicksilver Armor for every 2 seconds he spends there. If his Superheated Armor buff falls off, he will regain the Quicksilver Armor and summon fire elemental adds (Bound Flames)  . To make the fight as easy as possible, you want to minimize the number of Superheated Armor stacks Karsh gains, while making sure the buff never falls off. To do this, have your tank run (not backpedal) through the pillar of fire once the Superheated Armor has about 5 seconds left on it.

Time to loot and move on!

Moving along the next section, you’ll run into a variety of mobs, again in packs of 4-6.  These are all ranged capable types, though some will run to melee more readily than others. Defiled Earth Ragers, Incendiary Sparks, Twilight Obsidian Borers and Twilight Elemental Wardens comprise these ranks. Here is a breakdown of their abilities:

Defiled Earth Rager (elemental): Bludgeoning Strike, Meteor

Incendiary Spark (elemental): Fireball, Final Volley

Twilight Elemental Warden (humanoid): Chain Lightning, Frostbomb, Fire Blast

Twilight Obsidian Borer (humanoid): Bore, Shadow Prison

After a few groups, you’ll get to a spot where you can go left or right. To the right is Beauty’s den, and she is a skippable boss.   On the other hand, so long as you don’t kill Runty, she’s a pushover, so there’s no real reason not to take her out.  Make sure you clear the intersection area, though, as Beauty has a fear ability.

First, figure out where Runty (beast) is, and mark him, just so everyone’s clear on where the little bugger is. I’ve seen him hiding in the back behind Beauty, which makes things much easier. The reason you don’t kill Runty is because Beauty will enrage when Runty dies.

The four pups (Lucky, Buster, Spot and Runty (all beasts)) have the same abilities: Lava Drool and Little Big Flame Breath. When one of the pups is near the front of the cavern is the best time to pull it. You can pull the pups individually, or use CC to pull them all at once, your choice.    Remember! Don’t kill Runty. If you get Runty in a pull, make sure to CC him to keep him out of the way.

Presuming you didn’t get Runty in a pull, grab Beauty when you’ve taken care of her other pups.  (If you did get Runty, as soon as you’ve downed the pups in front, grab Beauty as well, and make sure you keep Runty out of the way)  Beauty has a few abilities, the most notable being the fear, called Terrifying Roar. Her other abilities are Magma Spit, Flamebreak and Berserker Charge.

Move on to the left after you’ve made appropriate jokes about Molten Core for your skinners.

You will have a couple more groups like the ones discussed before Beauty. And then you will face the Ascendant Lord with a whole lot of minions, which makes things look much more complicated than they really are. Move a little closer. Oh, Hi Raz! Unfortunately, Raz will die here. Fortunately, when he does, you will be facing Ascendant Lord Obsidius and two Shadows of Obsidius.

Assign a DPSer to kite the Shadows. The kiter will need to have at least a little bit better than average run speed (or a slowing ability), and a ranged attack of some kind.  They should kite the adds within range of the healer, and not too far away from the Ascendant Lord.  The Shadows have Crepuscular Veil, which is why the run speed ability is handy. They also take no damage.

At 66% and 33%, the Ascendant Lord will switch places with one of the Shadows. The tank will still have aggro on the new Ascendant Lord, but the kiter will need to pick up the new Shadow.

Additionally, the Ascendant Lord will use Thunderclap, and if your kiter is in range, it needs to be removed. He also uses Twilight Corruption, which can either be removed or healed through.

Congratulations, you’ve just completed Blackrock Caverns!