Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Uber Leetness and You: Your Epic Flight Form
So, you've decided that you want to join the uber-leet squad of people who hang around outside banks and auction houses showing of their mounts in a bizarre online corollary to such social phenomena as "Pimp my Ride." Well, I have only one thing to say to such people.
Good for you! :)
So I'll start at the very beginning. The first thing you need to do is to collect 5000g to train your artisan riding skill. Ouch. Five grand. Obviously, this is going to be very dependent on your character professions and spec, so I'll just give some info that can help anyone - the basics of playing the AH.
First, if you don't use it already, get Auctioneer. Wonderful addon. Basically, every now and then you just need to sit at the auction house for fifteen or twenty minutes, and this addon scans every single item on there and starts building a database. I normally scan once every few days, but when I was making my gold, I'd try to make sure to do it at least once every 24 hours.
Soon, you'll find yourself with a nice database showing average prices for items, etc. Here's where the fun comes in. Immediately after you complete a scan, click on the tab at the bottom that says "Scan auctions" (In the AH window). Change the selection on the left from "Bid" to "Buyout," and set the minimum profit to 5 gold. Hit search.
And blam, like magic the addon looks through its most recent scan, compares the prices of items to what it has established as an "average," and shows you what you could buy for cheap. Example: I've been scanning for about 2 weeks steady, so I'm pretty sure my database is fairly accurate as far as staple items go (herbs, potions, primals, etc). Auctioneer is telling me that the average price for Primal Water is 20g. But some guy just posted an auction of 10 primal waters for 100g. When I do my search, Auctioneer will automatically tag it and tell me that there is an item I could potentially sell for profit.
Now of course, there are potential errors. First, if you haven't seen an item very often, it the price may not be accurate. The addon will tell you in the tooltip for the item how many times it has been scanned. So if the Magical Fez of the Mauve Eyed Barber is a purple, and you've only seen it once on the AH for 8000 gold, the addon is going to tell you the average price is 8000 gold even if it really is worth only 1000g or so. Second, it will not necessarily account for market spikes in either direction, so if you're not absolutely sure you can turn a profit make sure you look at what is on the AH currently. For example, say it's revealed that for some reason, using Shadow Oil on Gruul kills him within 10 seconds. For the 24 hours or so before it is hotfixed, Shadow Oil will be selling for enormous amounts. Your scans will see that, but they will average the new cost with the old ones, and you may end up selling for far less than you could. So do a bit of manual checking now and again.
So, you've gotten your 5000g. You've spent five minutes at the prompt trying to click the button, because OH DEAR GOD I'M ABOUT TO SPEND 5000 GOLD! You've clicked and promptly felt a pit open in your stomach. You drop an extra two hundred gold on an epic mount without thinking about it, because if you do you're going to gouge your brain out by way of your ear while babbling about having to get rid of everything grey after farming. And then you mount up...and epic flight is bliss. If you're a gatherer of any sort, this will improve your outland farming by an incredible amount. If you're not, well, it still rocks.
So, now that you've got that out of the way, what now? Head to the Druid trainer in Moonglade. If you don't know where he is, shame on you! (Pssst...he's in front of the building that overlooks the lake, to the left of the entrance). The quests are fairly self explanatory, but I will make a small note: there are three quests where you have to fight skettis "guardians" holding bird spirits hostage (Hawk, Eagle, Falcon). Each of these is meant to be done in a different form - Bear (Eagle), Cat (Falcon), and Caster/Moonkin (Hawk). As long as you have some decent gear for your off-spec, you should be able to solo them with only minor difficulty.
Now, when I say "meant to," what I really mean is "there is no freaking way you are doing this in any other form." I grouped with a feral druid to try this. Against the first two guys, my normally 3.2k starfire crits (at the time) were doing around 500(!) damage. And they had upwards of 100k HP. I switched to the appropriate forms, and my normal 200ish damage per hit in feral forms was all of a sudden doing like 1000. When we got to the caster vulnerable one, my feral druid friend reported doing about 100-150 damage per hit. On the other hand, I had two 10k (yes, that's 10,000) wrath crits and a 23k starfire crit. So do yourself a favor and do the fights in the appropriate form. :)
So, the last quest is to defeat the Raven God, in heroic Sethekk Halls. First, a note on gear. You should be, at minimum, in gear that is sufficient for Karazhan. Heroics are not forgiving. Sethekk seemed to be a bit more forgiving than some I've been in, but still...very nasty at points. You're going to want at least two forms of crowd control besides your hibernate (which will indeed get used here). We did it with a shackle and a sheep, you can probably replace either one of those with a hunter who is good at chain trapping. Finally, the pairs of ravenguards that stand to either side of each doorway are now immune to crowd control, even cyclone. Watch your aggro. Even in moonkin I could have been 3 shotted. Chances are, your moonkin opportunities will be limited, because you're mostly bringing off-heals rather than crowd control to the table in this instance.
The first boss of Sethekk is pretty much the same as before, except tougher. No real new abilities, although his elementals seem to spam their respective "X Buffet" abilities much more. You clear some more, and then you clear the room before the final boss. We pulled the last pull before the final boss too, just in case.
Now, before you start the fight by clicking on the stand in the middle, be aware of two things. First, let your tank know that the event takes about 45 seconds to start, so he shouldn't enrage right away before you start the event. Second, there are three statues that are going to be spawned, called Hawk Spirit, Falcon Spirit, and Eagle Spirit. These three things are going to be your main duty throughout the fight.
These statue come to life while a druid Heal over Time spell is active upon them. Each buffs your group/hurts the enemy in some way. Hawk reduces damage taken by 500 (before armor). Falcon increases movement, attack, and casting speed by 25%. Eagle does a 300DPS AoE that affects the entire room (enemies only). Now, to take full advantage of this, ponder a simple fact: Rank 1 HoTs have the same duration as full rank.
I set up a macro for each of the statues. The format is as follows
/target Hawk Spirit
/cast Rejuvenation(Rank 1)
Replace "Hawk" with "Eagle" and "Falcon" as appropriate. Now you can simply click on a button during the fight, and you will instantly activate one of the statues for less than 30 mana. Convenient!
The fight has two different "modes." Anzu will spawn, and it will be a tank and spank for the most part. The one thing to watch out for is a curse that Anzu throws on any casters in the group periodically. This curse does about 1k damage and mana burns you for 2k if you cast any spell while it is on you. It can be dispelled as long as you don't try to remove it from yourself. Also, Anzu will whisper to the person he curses, so watch for it on yourself, and remove it from healers especially. I suggest keeping the Hawk and Falcon statues active here. Eagle is not as necessary.
After being beaten down to about 66%, Anzu will summon a bunch of adds (birds) and banish himself. As soon as he emotes the summoning, have everyone run to the center of the room. Now is when you should activate the eagle statue. Keep the Hawk statue up. If you're inclined, keep the falcon up too, but that's not necessary. After all the adds are killed, or after 1 minute (this shouldn't be an issue - the eagle statue alone should kill the adds in 1 minute), Anzu reappears. Lather, rinse, repeat. He does another summon at 33%, and after that it's just spankage.
Congratulations, you now turn into a kick-ass looking bird. Well, at least if you're a Night Elf. My Tauren moonkin brothers, I humbly apologize for the epic flight form granted to you. I don't know why Blizzard saw fit to make your epic flight form look like a roadkill bird that some kid tried to turn into a kite with some leather, a few sticks, twine, and a sewing needle. Don't get me wrong, I like the whole "Tauren/rugged/horned" theme that permeates Tauren forms and architecture, it has its own appeal. But in my opinion, the Epic Tauren bird needs, at the very least, a more varied color palette to really look cool.
When you turn in the quest, at Cenarion in Zangarmarsh, don't forget to talk to the guy again. He'll give you back the summoning item so that you can summon Anzu whenever you feel like smacking him around.
So, in conclusion, I have only one question about my newly beloved epic flight form:
Where's my Dual Plasma Cannons?!