Friday, April 22, 2011

My first Tier 1 dungeons

Sorry for the slowdown in posts, I'm taking a class at night and it's taken away some of my time towards the end of the semester.  My job has also gotten a little busier as well so writing posts during downtime at work has been getting a little more difficult.  But here I am anyway with another post...

My chloromancer hit 50 sometime last week, finally.  And over last weekend I got a decent amount of time to play him and meet a few of my guildies who had already been 50 or even had a second character to 50.

We did a few T1 dungeons, we had a cleric MH, me as my chloro, a rogue dps and then we had a rogue and a warrior sharing tanking responsibilties.  The warrior was just getting into tanking and getting into T1s while the rogue had gone through the T1s at least once as DPS and within the week had started tanking.  I'm not sure if they really meant it or were just being nice, but my groupmates/guildies were very forthcoming with praise.  Saying that I was doing really good with my heals or that my cleansing was great and quick and the cleric never needed to cleanse or if I got out a timely combat rez I was told "great job".  It was a good feeling, I felt like I was really contributing to a team effort and that without me they might not have succeeded.

The T1s we visited were King's Breach, Lantern Hook and Foul Cascade.  None of the dungeons were completed without deaths but when there were deaths there was no finger-pointing or whining ( by me or anyone else ).  The fights we had problems with were approached like the puzzle they were.

Last month I posted a walk-through for normal King's Breach.  But in the expert version things are little different.  One of the nice things about the expert dungeons is the additional boss(es) that we didn't see in the normal dungeon.  It makes the instances at the same time familiar and new.  The changes for KBx, as the dungeon is abbreviated, is that the manticore boss becomes the manticore bossES. In normal there was a chance for either manticore, now you get both.  We also get an additional boss named Konstantin.  Strangely  I had been invited by a guildie the previous day to kill just Konstantin since his group earlier in the day had given up on him.

The instance was smooth, the only real problem we had was with the manticores.  The rogue tank had a strategy where he would try and get wedged into a particular tree trunk to avoid the knockbacks and the rest of the group could just stay at range.  We tried variations on that strat probably 4 times before someone else spoke up and said they had done it by having the whole group in the tree trunk.  We wiped once on that strat and the second try we got it right.  One trick the rogue tank used was to put his teleport beacon in the spot we were all stacked so that if he happened to get knocked back he was able to quickly return to the stack.... SUCCESS!!!

Konstantin, actually a very interesting fight.  Konstantin is in a crypt, this crypt has a metal floor with thousands of holes in it and the floor has a nice arc pattern to it.  When you start fighting him spikes come up through the holes in the floor, but only in parts of the pattern part of the time and then other parts of the pattern other times.  There isn't a set pattern to when they come up, all you get is a warning of puffs of air coming through the holes that are going to get spiked.  The first time I had done it the person teaching the fight told me to worry about the spikes first and dps when possible.  The spikes seemed to do about 3k damage, I had about 5k health, so two times getting hit with spikes without getting a heal was bad.  After two tries we got it done though.  The trick was that the spikes only did damage when they came up, so after they appeared you could move onto the spiked area without getting hurt.  This gave everyone a bit more time to DPS/heal and gave the fight a nice dance feel, like Heigan in Naxx.

A video I found on You Tube, not mine.

A different take on the Konstantin fight was what I saw the next day with the rogue tank.  He had the group stay outside of the crypt and he went in and pulled Konstantin out.  He kited him in front of the entrance and I guess there's a point where Konstantin enrages or something, but when that happened the rogue teleported either to his beacon or just straight ahead depending on which ability was on cooldown.  It made the fight more than easy for the rest of us as we didn't have to worry about spikes and the tank avoided extra damage.

Enough babbling for today, maybe Monday I'll have something put together about Lantern Hook and/or Foul Cascade.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Future Cleric tanking plans

As I said before there is some disagreement on the Rift forums and elsewhere with my presumption that shields are the lesser choice for tanking clerics.  My plan is to keep my non-shield spec for soloing and switching to a shield friendly spec for instances and rifts.  My cleric is 29 now and I've stuck with the game suggested combination of justicar/druid/shaman.  I'm going to try and show what my spec will end up looking like as I level up with both roles.

Lvl 20

Lvl 30

Lvl 40

By the time I reach level 38 I am required to start taking shield based talents to stay in Justicar, so by this I take it that I am supposed to have picked up a shield by this point.  None of the abilities post 37 ( Just Defense, Resplendent Embrace or Doctrine of Authority ) require a shield but they do seem to be survivability abilities that might be a mistake to skip, at least end game.  I held out and instead spent some points in my DPS trees to get to 40, assuming I would have to be shield spec'd by 50.  My extra points in Druid get me Fae Hammer to help with mana issues, I picked up Slumber to help with mob control

Lvl 50

So after 40 if I wanted to stay full Justicar, and I'm not saying that's the best choice, I need to take shield talents.  If I'm taking shield talents then it only makes sense to pick up a shield.  In some of my research I've seen specs that don't bring Justicar all the way up to 51, they stop at 38 and put points into Shaman and their third soul is Inquisitor.  I'll have to look at this once I get to that level.  Here is a link to a forum post about exactly this sort of spec ( ).

Let me know what you think or what you've found out, I'm always willing to listen.