Neither fish nor flesh nor good red herring

Carrying on our wonderful conversation from yesterday! With the great insights so many of you shared, how could we not?

I’ll let you decide why I named the post the way I did

Some of the things that struck me in your comments, were how grateful many folks were to be able to take a break from raiding due to real life concerns, or play a character at a different pace than others, and feel that when they came back they could come reasonably close to catching up to their friends without causing their guilds to stop on a dime and go back to re-run 25 person content just to catch them up.

Of course, the flip side to that was how sad many folks were that the current system encourages skipped content to remain skipped forever if you missed it at first release, because the raiding guild you’ve caught up to has little incentive to really run Naxx or Ulduar once there aren’t any desirable shinies from it. As one person put it (paraphrased) it’s sad that a gorgeous, spectacularly designed raid like Ulduar was passed over as obsolete so quickly after release, in favor of arena battles in ToC.

There also were a lot of comments from folks that felt that the Emblem system had, perhaps, gone just a little too far in allowing people to bypass recent content entirely, and that the Badge system in Burning Crusade had hit just the right balance.

Lots of great points in your comments, loved reading them all. Well, almost all. There’s always one that has to interject some pissyness. You know, what we in the Marines called the 10% rule. I’ve mentioned it before on the blog years ago, no matter how kick ass the group of people you gather together, there’s always that 10% that, umm… mess it up for the others.

Let’s move past the “love it or hate it” aspect, though, and move on to motivation. Current motivation to run content.

We’re in the middle of a lot of things right now. We’re not at the leading edge of newly released content, ToC 10s and 25s has been out for a while now. Emblems of Conquest have been out long enough that if you really wanted to, at least one character can easily be fully decked out now. I know I don’t play all that much, I’ve got three specs I gear up at 80, and I’ve still got a solid mix of Conquest gear, heroic ToC stuff, and a couple Triumph pieces on all three. I could be even stronger, I spent a lot of my Druid’s Conquest downranking to get Heirloom chestpieces and daggers and stuff.

Folks doing ToC 10s and 25s are liable to already have things pure Triumph can get them. Or are at least getting close to it.

So we’re at the tail end of one content cycle… but we’re not yet at the next one, and it’s hard to tell just when it will come. We know Triumph Emblems will fall like gentle rain in Patch 3.3, and right now it’s a clawing struggle to get them from Heroic Daily quests if that’s the level of content you’re doing.

According to WoW.com/WoW Insider, it could be the end of December before we see Patch 3.3, based on their analysis of Icecrown Citadel boss testing schedules on the PTR.

Two more months of playing where we are just now… or maybe the Patch will come next week! (Okay, not really, but seriously… who knows?)

So how do you feel when in between these stages? Are you motivated to run things, and if so, what is driving you on?

Are you driven to run ToC or other raids as much as you can, in a desire to see the content, ahem, “As it was intended”? I saw a few comments suggesting that quite a few of you feel that having ever higher gear levels for existing content cheapens the experience.

I’m torn, myself. I really feel the in-betweens right now.

Intellectually, I know that very soon things will change, there will be neat new 5 person instances in Icecrown to have fun with, there will be new loot dropping, and there will be Triumph Emblems dropping in large amounts from normal heroics.

But still… I find myself trying to do the daily heroic on my Hunter as much as possible, clawing my way towards getting 30 Emblems of Triumph so I can get the Tier 9 shoulders. I still have reputation blue shoulders on my Hunter, squatting there like a turd amidst my other pretty shiny gear… and it torques me right the hell off. I don’t even play my Hunter for anything other than fun, and it still irritates me.

For a while, I dreamed of seeing the Hunter shoulders in heroic ToC drop… HAH! I used up my loot luck for the next year getting a turtle mount.

Now I’m at 26 Emblems of Triumph on a character that I really feel bad trying to get guild runs with when it’s the daily, because my Druid is simply more helpful to getting groups going for everyone. We’ve got a lot of tanks, but we’re still a little short on healers from day to day.

I still feel motivated to run the heroic daily on my Hunter, trying to get those silly Emblems of Triumph, for no other reason than because I am annoyed at blue shoulders on my Hunter, and apparently I’m too stupid to just wait a few weeks when I could run a single heroic Nexus in a pug and be done.

I even know what’s going to happen. I’m going to finally get those Tier shoulders on my Hunter, gem and enchant them… and the character will go back to sitting on the shelf. It’s like I’ve got this itch right between my shoulderblades, and once it’s scratched I’ll be able to relax.

How are you handling this period? What is motivating your decisions as to what you play once you log in? I’ll put aside the big one of having fun with friends, I think that’s the big reason we login in the first place. 

From reading some of the comments from previous periods right before big content patches, I see that this is when a lot of folks say they’re bored with WoW or are burnt out or are tired of achieving big things only to have the bar raised yet again, and are intending to stop playing.

Is that where you’re at? If so, are you coming back?

Or are you having fun the same as always, because something that has nothing to do with patch content motivates your fun?

How do you feel about gear resets?

Something I’ve been kicking around myself, and I’m wondering what you think about gear resets.

No, really. I know what I think, but I only do a certain amount of content with friends. And I’d rather not assume I know what everyone else really thinks.

We have had what we call gear resets many times in WoW.

A gear reset is when the gear that can be acquired from means other than raid progression allows a character to skip pre-existing content and still be equipped for raiding.

Original WoW had a certain amount of top end gear available at release, and with each additional high end raid, there were new levels of gear. Often, these had been accompanied by different hoops you had to jump through to get the final gear piece.

Anyone remember with fondness the intricate contortions AQ put us through in order to get incremental upgrades?

Love it or hate it, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and AQ brought us incremental upgrades, building on previous raiding success, so that better gear was pretty tightly tuned and it was clear how the people who had it, got it.

With the Burning Crusade expansion, boom! Blue became the new Purple. People frequently tossed out their last top end raid epics for Blues at the level 65 to 67 mark. Sure, some of the most cutting players may have still been nailing Serpentshrine Cavern in some of their AQ gear, but I think I’m safe in saying it wasn’t that widespread.

 The content releases weren’t gear resets. You had to have existing content done to advance to the new gear released in higher end raids.

Burning Crusade WAS a gear reset, because you could create a new character and level through questing to acquire the gear that was better than raid rewards previously seen.

The release of Badge of Justice awards, both levels, could constitute another gear reset, as people could acquire them from Heroics and gain gear that allowed them to progress faster and skip some existing content.

Wrath of the Lich King of course brought another, but this time, it wasn’t quite as drastic. There were still many top end raiding guilds using their level 70 epics to raid as soon as they hit 80. Cassie acquired the tier helm from The Battle for Mount Hyjal, and at the time it was an upgrade for her level 80 Rogue over other level 80 Rare quality heroic drops.

We also had the new Emblem rewards to hunt for, and there were content specific Emblems at multiple levels, so your Emblem rewards were conceivably tied to your progression. 

I think there is little question that the recent change to cause all previous content to drop Emblems of Conquest, and the addition of Emblems of Triumph available from daily quests constituted an intentional gear reset.

Suddenly, by playing the game at a level open to new level 80s in quest reward greens and blues, you could obtain a complete set of Tier gear and other rewards consistent with Naxx 25/Ulduar 10 raiding. Coupling this with the epic weapons of the Argent Tournament, and the rewards from normal/Heroic ToC 5 person instance runs, and we had a solid gear reset. Nobody has to run Ulduar or Naxxramus to prepare for the ToC 10/25 raids or beyond unless they want to.

Yes, there will be drops that people want, but the bulk of the equipment raiders want can be acquired in places other than raids.

That’s where we are now. Everyone’s adjusted just fine.

Now, we’re being told that in the next content patch, patch 3.3, all existing content will drop Emblems of Triumph instead of Conquest and they’re adding a new Emblem level. Plus, there will be weekly raid quests from early bosses in existing raids that drop the new Emblems.

This means that a character that dings 80 can run heroic 5 person instances, and once a week hit some of the easier raid bosses, and over perhaps three weeks or less completely equip themselves in Tier 9 gear, coinciding with the opening of the new Icecrown Citadel raids.

So.

What do you think of all this?

And if you disagree with me, I’m not going to get upset. Not at all. You pays your money to play the game same as everybody else, your point of view and how you feel about these changes is just as valid as anyone else’s.

I will share my feelings on it, for what they’re worth.

I’m quite happy about it. In fact, I’m very excited.

I see it as an opportunity to focus on gearing my Druid for both tank and healing specs so that I can help my casual guild see the existing raid content that, presumably, the gear reset is intended to let us skip over.

No, really. When everyone else will be looking upwards to Icecrown, I expect our guild will be heading into Ulduar and Eye of Eternity and Sarth +3, and the ToC 10 man runs at a more relaxed pace.

I also see it as an opportunity for my alts to run 5 person content, and not take up raid spots, but still be able to gain rewards that would make them reasonably helpful if we needed one on a guild run. My Hunter doesn’t really raid with the guild, but if called upon, it would be very nice to have a solid set of Tier 9 to bring in at need.

Finally… I’m very glad to be able to stop worrying about running enough to save up Emblems of Conquest to convert to Valor, to fill in the Tier spots for tank, healer, and hunter gear sets. That’s a LOT of running. I’m much happier just running as normal for one level of Triumph gear.

But please, what do you think?

If you raid, do you see this as helpful in offsetting spots in your team’s gear where you just haven’t been lucky in the drops? Do you see it as a good way to help bring your own alts up to speed without fighting over raid spots? Or do you maybe feel that it cheapens your accomlishments when you did the content the way it was intended, and won? Or something else entirely?

If you don’t raid, do you care that there are higher levels of gear you can get by doing the same content? How do you feel about it?

Faction Changes Live and even more!

Last night MMO Champion alerted us to the fact that Blizzard has made Paid Faction Changes live.

The process seems to be pretty doggone bulletproof. You get to change your race, appearance and even your character name all as part of the service, Reputation gets transferred to the appropriate opposing faction rep (Alert! Wintersaber Trainers on Alliance HAVE NO OPPOSITE and will be LOST!) and even items like PvP gear will get the closest equivalent taken care of.

A Blizzard comment states that no items will be lost in the process.

Something I found interesting while perusing this process, is another service Blizzard will provide that I had absolutely no idea was coming out.

A brand new World of Warcraft magazine!

magwow

I had no idea this was coming, personally. A years’ subscription is 4 issues, and for the US costs $39.95.

That sounds fascinating! And expensive!

I mean, $10 an issue?

You can tell I’m addicted by the fact that I’m actually thinking about it… I did have subscriptions to EGM, Offical PS Mag, PC Gamer and Game Informer before WoW erased the need.

What do you think? Do you think the magazine will have stuff that you can’t live without?

Hey, I say, give me a code in each magazine for a neat in game mini-pet, and I’m there, baby!

Otherwise, I think it would be a hard sell at Casa de Bear.

Impressions from the Blizzcon Class Panel

These are my impressions from watching the Blizzcon Class Panel, things that caught my eye. I guarantee WoW.com covered things in greater detail, so go there or to MMO Champion for line by line details.

First, they talked Warlocks and Hunters. They did not go into detail on any other classes. I’m not covering them much, so off to MMO Champion you go!

Yes, we Feral Druids got boned with a lack of info.

So, no specific Feral Druid news, really.

First, the stat changes that are coming.

They are simplifying the way stats work, to make gear easier to understand.

  • Armor Penetration is GONE.
  • Defense is GONE.
  • Attack Power as a stat is GONE.

They broke it down that for some classes (like Rogue, Hunter, Druid, Enhancement Shaman) you would get 2 Attack Power per point of Agility. No more just Attack Power.

They did NOT say whether the stat change applied differently to Bear and Cat. They DID say they wanted Tanks to not fight with DPS over gear, so DPS was going with Agility. Since Bears use DPS Rogue/cat leather gear, maybe Bears truly are going to 100% Agility, and Strength is going away for Druids. Nobody asked during the Q&A (yes that would have been my question, “Will Bears be using BOTH Agi AND Strength like now, or only Agi in the revamp?), but the question didn’t arise, and they did not say anything about that situation.

They’re adding Stamina to a ton of gear, so everyone will be less squishy. Just FYI.

  • Spell Power as a stat is GONE.
  • MP 5 is GONE.

They’re making Spirit be the mana regen stat for everyone, and Intellect be the Spellpower for everyone.

There will be a new stat or ability or function, called Mastery, that seems to be a way for you to follow a path you choose, that let’s you be better at what you choose to do. One example they used was to become a better Beasty Hunter you could follow a path of Mastery to buff your pet damage.

Oh yeah… and Hunters? Mana is GONE, you get Focus instead. It’s like a Hunter’s Energy, max 100, regen 6 energy per tick, and cost 30 or so Energy per shot, and Steady Shot will increase your Focus regen rate from 6 per tick to 12.

Oh, and if Defense is gone, what do Tanks do?

Why, all tanks will get a Survival of the Fittest style ability that eliminates crits. And Block goes to a percentage of mitigation, and Shield Block is GONE.

Plate wearers may now rejoice.

Haste will be changed to increase the rate of energy regen, rage regen, and focus for classes that use those stats, that have no real use for Haste now. More utility from haste to all classes, not just instant cast GCD spell casters.

They mentioned that Ret Pallies would have to spec into a talent to make full use of Haste.

Moving on, they are adding Archaeology as a Secondary Class, like Cooking. You’ll be able to seek out and find neat artifacts throughout the world, and finding them can give you Vanity Pets, Instant Travel to an instance, perhaps (from finding a hidden entrance only you know), Unique recipes for other professions, and also special Titles, and even more, like items and gear. Those are the exmaples they gave specifically, there may be more.

Cassie and I were really excited at their description for Archaeoloy, it sounds a LOT more fun than Achievements to us, don’t ask why.

Also, Reforging is being added, that will let classes with crafting professions modify gear to shift Stat points around a little.

The way they described it, it sounds like you’ll be able to have one stat on gear halved and the points used to add a stat that does not exist on that item, not increase an existing stat on the gear.

So, you could as an example, if you were under the hit cap with your current gear, reduce Stam on some items by half and ADD hit rating on those items that did not have it… and they said you could do this as often as you want, so it’s not a permanent change to the item. So if you then get uber drop with hit, you could change the other items back to compensate.

I’m sure that you can immediately see the implications. When trying to gear up for content, you can gimp other things to reach important stat caps, like Hit or Expertise, or to hit a preferred level of an ability, like Crit, and then when you get a drop that gives you that stat your existing gear can be changed back to be worth more to you than it was. Very smart. Very smart.

Blacksmiths can Reforge their own OR OTHERS plate and weapons, Engineers can Reforge trinkets and Ranged Weapons, Tailors cloth, JC and LW undefined, but you can probably guess.

Multi-Gain was mentioned for crafting leveling… that if you are leveling crafting profession and you’ve got mats to make 5 cheap items, or one blue item that would be worth having but was really expensive to make… they would make the blue item worth maybe 5 profession points on crafted skillup. So a multi-gain of class leveling points, to make it more useful to actually MAKE those low level blues.

There was a lot more, of course. They talked a lot about Hunters and Warlocks, and there were a lot of good questions.

My thoughts in general are, it sounds like they are still in the theorycrafting “what if we did this…” stage in planning. Strong on ideas, weak on specific plans for execution. So don’t panic.

It felt more like they know what direction they intend to go. They intend to simplify the stat system so it’s easier to understand when an item is a direct upgrade or not, and they intend to modify things in talent trees so that it’s easier to plan a spec based on things that sounds fun, rather than things that are marginally useful and no-brainer necessary.

Things like removing talents that improve existing buff spells like Improved Mark of the Wild.

It sounds like they want a spec choice to be based on cool factor, and they will encourage this by taking out basic buffs to existing abilities and just factoring that in.

There was a cheer when they revealed Armor Pen was gone, btw.

The stat changes, as I said, sound like they are driving towards simplifying gear choices, making upgrades more transparent, and keeping things about playing your class.

They did specifically answer one young mans’ Feral Druid question, saying that Ghostcrawler LIKES the way Feral Cat DPS rotations works right now, very much, they do NOT want to mess around with it and possibly piss players off, and that rather than change it, they are planning on UI refinements to make it easier to track Combo Points and Energy without addons.

Personally, adding this in with the changes to old world instances, revitalizing the old world, adding new questlines, bringing old isntances to heroic 80 level, and the gear clarity to easily identify upgrades….

I think this just means Blizzard reads my blog for ideas on how to improve the game. :)

What? I can dream, can’t I?

Seriously though, very stoked.

Talking about Blizzcon Dungeon Announcements

This is more the province of Tish Tosh Tesh, but I thought it’d be fun to talk about the evolution of dungeon design in WoW… also known as, be careful what you wish for.

Blizzcon is this weekend, heck it’s going on now, (oh yeah, and MMO Champion was apparently correct in every particular except no confirmation on Troll Druids… Gnome Priests ARE confirmed), and on Saturday one of the panels to look forward to is Dungeon and Raids.

BEAREDIT IN DA MIDDLE! It looks like the Alliance version of the Troll Druid is… the Worgen Druid! And if so, yes, I’ll play one. Two Alliance Druids? Oh, why the hell not.

Before we see what Blizzard has to say while looking ahead, let’s take a look at the dungeons of the past, and what we liked about them, hated, and how they’ve changed over time, shall we?

I could do a traditional Bearwall, and go over every dungeon one at a time, but I’d actually like to hear YOU talk about the various dungeons, what you liked about them, what you hated. Especially with a focus on the originals.

Why?

Because one of the most recent Blizzcon announcements (besides flight confirmed in Azeroth) was a total revamp of the old world, and the old dungeons all refreshed…. with the addition of Heroic modes.

That’s right, Heroic modes.

Heroic Shadowfang Keep was mentioned. Yes, yes it was, damnit!

So, I’d like to get the conversation started. We’ve had a lot of discussion recently in WoW about the gradual changes in instance design, moving from instances heavy with patrols and mobs requiring the use of crowd control, innovative tactics and full on teamwork, and moving towards what some feel is a simple CC free tank and spank in your face borefest.

Will this change all that? If so, for the better or worse?

Will a Heroic BRD become the new psuedo-raid? Good lord, BRD when done purely at level is freaking nuts.

In fact, I challenge anyone to go in as a two person group, even at 80, and blow through all of BRD in less than an hour and a half. Since I know of folks that can clear Kara in that, that’s saying something.

The old style dungeons had an interesting mix of architecture and style, and while I know some folks try as hard as they can to do things at the appropriate level… when it’s an instance tuned for Heroic level 80 challenges, how will we fare?

I’m sorry, I know we’ve all done these a million times, and yes I know people will be tired of seeing them no matter what they’re level. I won’t argue that point. I think it’s a valid point to talk about.

Are there some instances that will feel vibrant and fun, challenging and brutal at 80? Will a Deadmines run bring us back to see Van Cleef and his minions once again… or will Cataclysm bring not only a power boost to the old instances, but also a change to where they fit in the lore?

Just two points to start the completely idle speculation…

Deadmines. Will the presence of Stormwind Docks change Deadmines, so that the end actually consists of fighting aboard a launched mega-cannon ship, fighting to stop it before it reaches the Stormwind Harbor and shells the ships lying in wait?

Gnomeregan. When they revamp it, will we be fighting a massive battle in a phased Gnomeregan, where we will finally fight the war to reclaim and save Gnomeregan, giving Gnomes a true capitol city once again?

On the flip side, will Trolls gain a capitol of their own?

Will Shadowfang Keep, with the addition of Worgen as a playable race, become something totally different?

Blizzcon is a go, Boubouille is vindicated and then some, and the WoW world will never be the same.

Go! Talk! Be free!

BEAREDIT!!!! So, yeah, totally made it sound like all old world Azeroth instances were getting the level 85 Heroic makeover. I think that was premature. Maybe you know more than I, but as of right now, all I know FOR SURE is that Deadmines and Shadowfang keep are getting 85 heroic versions. NOT BRD.

Maybe others will, maybe not. I’m sorry for the confusion.

Trial of the Champion: Yikes!

I may have that name wrong, but if I say that I’m talking about the new 5 person normal/heroic instance, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s been a bit of a busy week, but that’s no excuse for not having set foot in the new 5 person instance. Last night, Cassie and I wanted to rectify the situation, so we asked some folks in the guild if they’d be willing to give it a try.

We went into normal mode first, with Falromord as a warrior tank, myself as a resto healer, and Wetfoot, Cassieann and Pushpin for DPS, a Survival Hunter, Combat Rogue and Death Knight, respectively.

Normal mode was a comedy of errors as I relearned healing on the fly in a brand new instance, after tanking a lot recently. “What does this button do again? Where the hell is the button for Nature’s Swiftness? Shit, I forgot treeform for the whole run! Aw shoot, I forgot to use Swiftmend instead of Nourish again.”

Sigh.

Okay, it wasn’t really that bad, but it was pretty frantic.

About the time I pulled myself together, we’d finished normal mode Trials, and had some interesting perceptions of the run.

Then we went right back in on Heroic mode, and… umm, well, we won? 

I wouldn’t call it a smackdown, but we were still standing and had loot at the end of it, so woot!

Whether in normal or heroic, the first section consists of fighting as a group while mounted with a lance, followed by being dismounted and fighting as a normal team with tank, DPS and healers.

When you enter the instance, there is someone you talk to for starting the fights. Before that, you might look around and notice the lance racks and mounts around the edge of the large circular chamber where ALL of the fighting takes place.

You can come in, if you don’t have a Lance you can grab one from a rack, mount up, and start stacking Armor/Defend.

When you start the encounter, three champions of the opposing faction, races varying per encounter just as Moroes’ guests do, come out. Each has an entourage of three suckups with them.

You get one champion sending a wave of three suckups at you, and once those are down the next three come, and then the last three. Once all the suckups are downed, the three champions come out to get lanced.

As I’m sure you know, once a champion is dismounted, he’s on the ground and stunned for about ten seconds (much less in heroic mode… or maybe it only felt that way). Then he gets back up, and heads for the nearest mount at the wall, ready to get mounted and return to battle.

Once a champion is dismounted, you can run over him with your valiant steed to trample him back down again. There are no special commands, buttons or abilities to trigger. You literally ride over him, and he gets flattened.

In your favor, if YOUR mount loses health and you get dismounted YOU can run over to a mount along the wall and remount and get right back in the fray. Watch out, if you are on foot and they run over you, YOU get trampled. Word to the wise.. DUCK!

One other thing, and something we abused the heck out of… throughout the entire instance fight, whether on a boss or not, whether in heroic or not, if you die, you can release to graveyard nearby and come RIGHT BACK IN IMMEDIATELY.

Warning, if you release and THEN the boss dies before you come back in and gets looted, you might still be able to get your Emblems, but you won’t be able to roll on loot. So folks, please don’t be fast to loot. Remember, rez/recover first.

Anyway, what we did on heroic, that we worked out on the normal run, was to have two designated ‘tramplers’. Cassie was trampler #1, and I believe Pushpins was trampler #2. As soon as the first champion was downed, Cassie just ran over that bastard endlessly.

As soon as the second champion was downed, Push ran over that one. The rest of us just kept repeatedly charging and breaking the third champion. Zero problems.

Zero problems until all three went down, at any rate. We were dismounted instantly, and even though we knew it was coming, we all died from being spread out when the standard part of the fight began.

I think for our next shot, we need to have the person with aggro work on using melee attack to kite the champion to one constant location, while the rest use shield breakers to keep them weak, and make them die in one pile, then rinse and repeat, so that we’ve got one controllable pile. They hit hard enough to damn near oneshot cloth.

Anyway, once we all died on the dismount, we came back in and easily beat them once prepared. Just made sure to kill the Orc (we’re Alliance) first, since his Whirlwind attack is pretty brutal on a melee heavy group.  

Now, I could try and go into detail on fights two and three… but I think this post has gotten pretty long, and I’d rather tackle it a few more times to nail down the ins and outs.

What I will say, is that on the Black Knight, we found kiting the boss around was successful, because when he drops the green crop circle with wisps of smoke, it does a lot of damage over time plus has a big slow effect, and when lots of people are in it, healing the whole group gets VERY tough. It makes bears whine about healing stress. It’s ugly. Also, on the final encounter, Shadow Resistance is awesome, because he does a Shadowbolt volley on everyone that hurts hefty amounts.

The fights stress a healer a ton… at least, in my iLevel 200 gear I felt it stressed me out a lot, I healed my butt off, in many cases simply spamming Nourish on the main tank and letting DPS drop like flies to try and make it through. As I said earlier, we heavily abused the fact you can run in from the graveyard in mid-fight.

Damn, that instance is fun, though.

I’m sure that folks that are in Naxx 25 gear or higher probably do it on snooze mode, which is as it should be considering the quality of gear it drops. But for a 5 person team in Naxx 10 gear and heroic epics and crafted, it’s tuned really well. It’s a heck of a challenge, but you know that it CAN be done, and done well, once you get it down. And it is very fast.

Oh, one other thing if you haven’t done it yet. There are three encounters, but it drops not three epics, but five. The first encounter has one epic drop, and each of the next encounters drops two. Five iLevel 219 epic drops for one heroic run of 30 minutes is… well, expect it to be the new standard instance for an evening, yes?

Share your own tips, let us know the different things that you found that work well on that. I think it was a lot of fun fighting Onyxia in our nightmares… even if she DID fear us all over the place.