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Shkarn

General Vezax

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Last night, my guild got its first 10-man Vezax kill, but we got into a discussion about casters and the shadow crash. One of our Moonkin ended up burning through her mana extremely quickly even after reducing her rotation when out of the crash and going full force while in the crash. This got us talking about a general view of how casters should be using their mana throughout the fight. She posted the same question on the druid forums, but it was specifically for Moonkin, and most of the feedback said to only cast while in the crash. I, on the other hand, was able to chain-nuke throughout the fight, even when I wasn't in a crash. This will largely vary based on the location of the crashes, but as a raid leader looking ahead at 25-man attempts this week, here's my question:

For each dps casting class, how do you do it and specifically which is most effective/ideal? Are you only nuking in the crash and conserving your mana when out of the crash with just a dot or two, or are some of you chain-casting throughout the entire fight? Will only casting while in shadow crashes result in higher overall damage for all casting dps classes, or will some benefit more from chain-casting throughout the entire fight even when not in crashes?

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If you have extra mana then sure go ahead and cast outside the shadow crash. It won't hurt your dps to cast out of the crash unless at any point in the fight you have the option to dps in a crash and you aren't/can't because of mana.

Our casters generally don't dps outside of crash. I start the fight wanding until there is a crash in my area. With 1.2-1.3 second fireballs a mage can go through mana fairly fast even with the 70% reduction and at least in 25 man we rotate vapors so an individual caster dps will only get maybe 2 vapors total.

That said I did have a bit of mana left when he died so if you can accurately guess how much mana you can use outside of crashes then its dps you wouldn't have done waiting for a crash.

Our ele shammy last night was mentioning that thunderstorm was giving him mana back so that may be a factor in dpsing out of crashes as well. Some casters are also more efficient, for example I wouldn't suggest locks dps outside of crashes ever, ours tried it a bit at first and were out of mana in a hurry.

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How are others rotating to reduce the Mark and crash on pool issues? We seemd to hit our stride going every other healers - casters with 6 offensive casters and 7 healers and 2 hunters who just used viper one of whom really couldn't move most of the time since he was the intervene target for our tank during the kite phase.

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Our ele shammy last night was mentioning that thunderstorm was giving him mana back so that may be a factor in dpsing out of crashes as well.

I tested with Thunderstorm, and I got a nice big "Immune" message to the mana return, and I don't remember seeing any mana gain.

How are others rotating to reduce the Mark and crash on pool issues? We seemd to hit our stride going every other healers - casters with 6 offensive casters and 7 healers and 2 hunters who just used viper one of whom really couldn't move most of the time since he was the intervene target for our tank during the kite phase.

Take this with a grain of salt since we haven't done heroic yet, but on normal, we let the healers be the driving force for the clouds at the start. Healers got the first with dps getting the second one, but we made sure the cloud the dps got was far away from Vezax, giving the healers the priority on any that are close. We stuck 2-3 people in each cloud at a given time, spread out as much as possible. Nobody would hog the center, since we wanted to be as far apart as possible for any crashes and marks. I don't think our Hunter ever used a cloud, or if he did he only used one. For heroic, I'm leaning towards 4-5 per cloud (with 4 along the edge and 0-1 in the middle), but I'd also be interested in seeing what others do for that.

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I've thought about popping crystals in melee range of the boss so that the group can't get shadow crashed. This, combined with popping a crystal immediately after faceless should stop any of the problems that arise from having too many people in the crystal.

Of course, to pull this off you'd have to have sufficient numbers at range so the melee doesn't get shadow crashed. This might necessitate putting melee at range, which would result in much whining.

For our kill we had 6-7 in each ore (at range) and just waited til we got lucky with shadow crashes. It didn't feel particularly elegant.

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How are others rotating to reduce the Mark and crash on pool issues? We seemd to hit our stride going every other healers - casters with 6 offensive casters and 7 healers and 2 hunters who just used viper one of whom really couldn't move most of the time since he was the intervene target for our tank during the kite phase.

We had 18 Ranged/Healers total and split into 3 groups. We generally picked a crystal to break right before/during the kite phase and then brought the boss fairly near to it to reduce crashes on that area. We rotated groups in case a crash did happen since if your at minimum range for crashes it doesn't leave much time to get out so generally people got hit on the odd occasion it wasn't quite close enough.

This was actually our strat for the entire thing, including shadow crashes to reduce mark damage/healing as well, might end up with a slightly slower kill and eventually we might condense to two groups but with the amount of ranged we had we were playing it a little safe.

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Myself and our other mages tried a 0/50/21 build last night for our first night of attempts and kill. We abandoned living bomb for a second icy veins, and a second iceblock to clear the faceless debuff. Found that the second iceblock wasn't really necessary, as on heroic the chance you end up with the debuff is much lower than normal mode. Spamming FFB with hot streak pyro's was great on the mana. I was only casting when in a shadow crash crater. Using the evocate glyph gave another option for healing up after missing a shadowcrash dodge or after standing in the cloud.

You would have better DPS by keeping living bomb; we were just thinking of ways to try and make the fight as survivable as possible, with minimal input from raid healers.

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We had our first kill on 25man yesterday after 10 tries, I guess our dps was too low since we ran out of vapor clouds at around 25% and all casters were oom at 20%. Might have to do with our heavy castersbased raidsetup or generally low dps.

What do you advice us to do? Better control on killing the vapor clouds better because it felt like a zerg kill to me, just kill on sight, get mana back and go allout in shadow crashes?

This was the log of our kill:

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

This of the people taking vapors:

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

What I don't get for example is how arahan can be lowest on dps while having the highest mana return.

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We had our first kill on 25man yesterday after 10 tries, I guess our dps was too low since we ran out of vapor clouds at around 25% and all casters were oom at 20%. Might have to do with our heavy castersbased raidsetup or generally low dps.

What do you advice us to do? Better control on killing the vapor clouds better because it felt like a zerg kill to me, just kill on sight, get mana back and go allout in shadow crashes?

This was the log of our kill:

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

This of the people taking vapors:

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

What I don't get for example is how arahan can be lowest on dps while having the highest mana return.

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis + World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

It looks like he dps'd from the vapors and only got into shadow crash once (perhaps by accident?)

Does he now what shadow crash is? That it actually benefits him tremendously?

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For shadow priests, it is very effective to get up a Shadow Word: Pain and then spam Mindflay when not in shadow crash, and going to full spells once in a shadow crash. When I was very low on mana, I would only cast to refresh my buffs (Shadow Weaving/SW:P) and wand. With good timing I could go to about 50% before oom, and then one round in a saronite vapor gave enough mana for the last 50%. For less efficient casters, it simply does not make sense to dps outside of a shadow crash - just keep up whatever debuffs (imp Scorch/etc) you provide and whatever you need to maintain on yourself (Illustration of the Dragon Soul/similar effects).

For non-hard mode the dps requirement is pretty forgiving and it is better to err on the side of caution (avoiding crashes/marks) than to try to eek out a bit more dps. Be spread and dps from shadow crashes when you can. A melee heavy raid will have an "easier" time than a ranged heavy raid. Even with the -20% attack speed and very good use of shadow crash, melee dps was out damaging our ranged. This may not hold true for your guild if you can be VERY coordinated with the shadow crash and mana regen pools.

A very effective strategy that was shared with my guild was to put 7-9 people at range who can dps without shadow crash, and have everyone else follow the boss in melee range (including all healers and remaining caster dps). We used 3 shadow priests, 2 hunters, 2 demonology locks, and 1-2 healers at range at all times. This keeps melee free of mark/crash. Crystals can be broken in melee range, and you can either kite the boss towards shadow crash, or just have ranged run to the shadow crash and dps until it dissipates.

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For non-hard mode the dps requirement is pretty forgiving and it is better to err on the side of caution (avoiding crashes/marks) than to try to eek out a bit more dps. Be spread and dps from shadow crashes when you can. A melee heavy raid will have an "easier" time than a ranged heavy raid. Even with the -20% attack speed and very good use of shadow crash, melee dps was out damaging our ranged. This may not hold true for your guild if you can be VERY coordinated with the shadow crash and mana regen pools.

We had the exact opposite. Melee DPS was doing very little (mostly because they all seemed to have very much trouble breaking the flame cast) and ranged DPS had to do a lot more to compensate.

As a fire mage, I never DPSed outside of crashes except wanding. But once on the crash I absolutely unloaded everything I had and a bit more. I was usually pulling 11-14k DPS on the first crash (naturally less later on), which made threat a bit interesting. I had to pop mirror image at ~90% threat and then continue to nuke for ~20 seconds or so until I was off the crash and pray that invisible didn't silently fail as it sometimes do, and then 3 minutes later I was up on top again and had to do it all again.

Some logs to illustrate how different guilds do things differently.

WoW Meter Online - Combatlog Replay in Engrish

WoW Meter Online - Combatlog Replay in Engrish (longest General Vezax try that night)

We didn't kill him that night but we did kill him the next night, but I can't find any logs of it. We also changed to 7 healers then I believe which helped a bit.

I should also point out that normally our melee isn't crap, I'd imagine we being a fairly normal guild when it comes to DPS distribution. For some reason they had big troubles with breaking the cast and doing DPS at the same.

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Easiest way to deal with that is assign 2-3 melee (we use a war, a rogue and an enh) to interupt. That way only those 3 will lose DPS because of it. The others can then just focus on this new exciting patchwerk boss that you've discovered for them to test their DPS rotations on. We found that swapping from 'just interupt it' to 'you, you and you, make sure none go through, everyone else DPS' resulted in a massive DPS increase from the melee.

It also allows you to put your 3 most reliable interuptters on it, which if your guild is like mine prevents the 'oops, sorry, i forgot i was next in the rotation' wipes that we all hate.

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Last kill I split the ranged dps and healers into 2 groups of 6, and we had 2 hunters who were always at range. The Saronite Crystals were marked, and the tank moved General Vezax to the crystals where they were killed. Group 1 took the first vapors in melee range of the boss, while Group 2 made sure that they are at range so that we didn't have Mark of the Faceless or Shadow Crashes on the melee. Groups 1 and 2 took turns accordingly, and this ensured that casters could make full use of the vapors, and minimized range issues regarding healers and the tank.

Saronite Crystal kill timing: Kill the first as soon as it spawns, and then wait on the rest until after the tank has finished the kite and is moving the General towards the crystal. Kill 1 after each Surge of Darkness, which happens every minute.

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As with RoS P2, using two predetermined interrupters is the best solution. The cast is 2 seconds which makes is possible for Warriors and Death Knight to interrupt everything. We do it weekly with myself and another DK.

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We have all the mana-needing people in 3 groups of 4 or 5 depending a bit on the setup. Each group has 2 or 3 healers (we run 7) and these groups get to rotate clouds every minute. Mana DPS can usually snatch a few ticks of mana regen every cloud if they're close, but healers should make it a point that when it's "their turn" to grab the full 7 stacks, step out and get 5 again (6 if you're lucky) and be virtually back at full mana.

That means everyone will have to manage 3 minutes with a single manapool. This is quite doable for healers if they play smart and cancel-cast and easy for DPS if you make sure to only cast the minimum when not in shadowcrash. We do stack the casters in two groups to optimize shadowcrashes. This is tight in terms of threat, but after your first round of mana regen, it'll be ok.

I also told the healers to stop healing the raid altogether and put every bit of mana they have into the MT. Of course they're healing their "regen group" as well. There is zip raid damage going on other than a sporadic mark of the faceless tick. Nothing a bandage, healthstone or vampiric embrace can't fix. If your raid needs outside healing, that's the thing that needs to be fixed.

This week we killed it with two clouds still unused, so there is some space for extra mana regen, but since eventually we'll have to do it without mana regeneration, might as well start practicing early :-)

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Easiest way to deal with that is assign 2-3 melee (we use a war, a rogue and an enh) to interupt. That way only those 3 will lose DPS because of it. The others can then just focus on this new exciting patchwerk boss that you've discovered for them to test their DPS rotations on. We found that swapping from 'just interupt it' to 'you, you and you, make sure none go through, everyone else DPS' resulted in a massive DPS increase from the melee.

If you have any frost DKs make them spec into Endless Winter (it's good for Mimiron anyway) and put them on interrupting (providing they're reliable). That way they can interrupt without any cost to personal dps.

I do agree that two people interrupting on a rotation is the best. You can have mages as backup just in case on the kiting phases, but as long as the two melee's hitcapped and have brains it should be the safest way. (Rather than: "FFA everyone interrupt now", and next cast everyone's on CD)

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does anyone have a wws of a vezax fight I could take a look at? I think I'm seeing a bug with Saronite Vapors, but can't be sure.

Thanks in advance!

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Wow Web Stats

Wow Web Stats

Those are our first two kills. What bug do you think you are seeing? Some people seem to be confused about how the vapors work and say that if you absorb the damage, you don't get the mana (this is NOT true). The damage can be resisted, but to my knowledge damage reduction effects do not reduce the damage (ie: shadow priests cannot hit dispersion on the 6/7/8 stacks to gain ridiculous mana).

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does anyone have a wws of a vezax fight I could take a look at? I think I'm seeing a bug with Saronite Vapors, but can't be sure.

Thanks in advance!

Are you referring to not regenning mana/taking damage while in a vapor?

Wow Web Stats

We got our 1st kill tonight, and there were 2-3 vapors that were bugged on the kill.

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I'm not 100% sure, but it might be a texture glitch were bugged vapors appear.

We have had over 3 kills, 4-5 bugged vapors and always at one certain spot, more or less were general is standing.

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I've found that some times vapors have issues when they are popped in the divents in the ground, they don't appear to want to really sit in there correctly.

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to my knowledge damage reduction effects do not reduce the damage (ie: shadow priests cannot hit dispersion on the 6/7/8 stacks to gain ridiculous mana).

That is true, tried divine protection a few nights ago, still took the same amount of damage.

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Shield walling it was inconsistent before and seems to be fully nerfed now. One attempt out of 10 I used to take full damage but I figured that was just me mis-timing it. Last time we did him over a handful of botched attempts (yay new tank!) it never once worked.

If you have a retadin with divine sacrafice it may still work though.

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I've found that some times vapors have issues when they are popped in the divents in the ground, they don't appear to want to really sit in there correctly.

Thanks, that was what we were seeing. Thankfully we only had it happen on one vapor per fight, on average.

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Our ele shammy last night was mentioning that thunderstorm was giving him mana back so that may be a factor in dpsing out of crashes as well. Some casters are also more efficient, for example I wouldn't suggest locks dps outside of crashes ever, ours tried it a bit at first and were out of mana in a hurry.

One thing I noticed while leveling my hunter was that [iTEM]Glyph of Mend Pet[/iTEM] didn't work when you had Improved Mend Pet talented to 1/2 (but it worked at 0/2 and 2/2). Perhaps the mana restore isn't properly disabled if the spell is glyphed/unglyphed, or modified in some other way?

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