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The New Guild Finder Feature

There’s a new feature in WoW, the Guild Finder. 

Here are my initial thoughts from the perspective of a guild leader:

  • It makes the most sense for a guild leader to select all of the options that apply to their guild, but there is no way to apply weighting to those scales. Unfortunately, that means that raiding guilds are probably going to click everything, because raiders still quest and dungeon, and even PvP.
  • The time options are too limited. Weekdays and weeknights? But what if your guild has their events on Thursday and Sunday? Well, better click both, then.
  • While they give us a set number of characters to talk about our guild in a free-form space, that number of characters doesn’t actually display in the guild finder tool on the other side, and there’s no way for the prospective guild member to click and see more. Totally unhelpful. If I’m going to put words in there, I want them to be seen. I feel like I have to tweet my message.  I’m not that good at tweeting.
  • I have to look at my guild info tab every time I log in to check for prospective members.
  • Sometimes, prospective members will disappear. I know this because one of my officers used a placeholder toon to try it out from the member side when I didn’t happen to be online. When I did get online, his request wasn’t there.

As you might gather, I’m underwhelmed. There are several things that could make this product great from the Guild Leader’s side. I’ll address my thoughts:

  • Give us the ability to indicate which of the activities we do is the most important. Let us make an ordered list instead of just a bulleted one!
  • Can we have 7 time options, or even better, 14? Seven days in a week allows the raid guilds to say which days they need you. Daytime and Evenings allows the casual guild to indicate when most of their players are online. This could even be done with 7 days and then some time options that are overarching.
  • Either give us a character limit that matches the visual space for the prospective member, or give the member a way to look at the whole message. Ideally, the latter, and maybe then a little more space to write (say an in-game mail message lenght).
  • Just for the guild leader (or selected ranks), after the guild message of the day shows, provide a message that indicates how many prospective members are in your queue. One line. Potentially even make it toggle-driven in the chat options.
  • Fix the disappearing prospective member bug.

Thanks, Blizzard, that would be 1000% more useful.

From the member side, I have some different concerns.

  • I have no idea how prospective guilds are sorted in the list.  Trying to find a guild that actually fits my criteria is quite difficult, unless I’m a raider or PvPer, because everyone quests and does dungeons.
  • I know about two or three guilds that I might like to apply to because I’ve run across their members here and there, or read about them on a forum someplace. I have to scroll to find them. God forbid I have an alt I want to bring into my current guild and there’s no officers online, so I want them to be aware of my presence.
  • I want to see everything the guild wants to tell me.

These, while frustrating, are somewhat easier to overcome. Many of the problems would be fixed by the guild leader side fixes recommended. But give me a search function and I’ll be a happy camper!

So, while I think the Guild Finder tool has a lot of potential, it just isn’t very usable for anybody right now.

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!