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Vault of Archavon has become a lot less fun to PuG.

Emalon, the new boss, is a  step up in difficulty from Archavon, the encounter require more focus and awareness due to the Lightning Nova (even if is no different from Loken in Hall of Lightning) and high dps in order to kill the charged add before he wipes the raid.

By their intrinsic nature, VoA raids are composed by all manners of people, from veteran raiders to people in quest greens and M&S (as a certain goblin calls them), and with the exception of the first category, they are incapable of delivering what is needed, so most of the PuGs I have been in go for Archavon first and then have a few attempts at Emalon, or like the last one I was in, had 1 attempt at Emalon before moving to Archavon.

The issue is that I don’t want to get saved to a PuG raid by killing Archavon and then being unable to go back and have a serious attempt at the new boss, since I don’t need badges (especially the Heroism ones), don’t need any of the gear Archavon drops while I’d like to have a shot at a few tier 8 pieces and the Furious Gladiator ones.

At this point, I have to refuse to join any Archavon kill until the last possible minute before reset, in the hope of getting in a PuG with enough decent people to kill Emalon, and I’m sure this situation will change the dynamics in VoA PuGs once more people will be in the same frame of mind.

Yesterday I listed 5 useful addons for Rogues, today I’m dedicating this post to NeedToKnow (from now on I’ll refer to it as NTK).

When you first install it and log into the game you’ll see three gray bars in the top-right quadrant of your screen.

To get to the options for the addon, go to the Interface options of the main menu and clicking on the AddOns tab you’ll see the NTK name in the list to the left of the options window

In the window you can choose how many groups of bars you want active and how many bars each group has. NTK allows you to have 4 groups of bars with a maximum of 6 bars for each group.
You can also choose between different textures for the bars. I don’t use SharedMedia but if I remember correctly it should work with NTK.

The configuration is done by right clicking on the bar and selecting the options from the dropdown menu.

In order to assign a bar to an ability you need to select “Choose buff/debuff to time”; once done that, a dialog window will open where you’ll have to enter the buff/debuff name, exactly as it in its tooltip. Click Accept and the bar will show the buff name. Once you’ve done this you just need to specify whether it’s a buff or a debuff

and which unit the addon needs to monitor.

Depending on what you want to monitor you might want to selct whether it is only an ability you cast (as a rogue I do this for Rupture) or if you want to keep an eye on an ability that is not yours (for example I could track Faerie Fire on a mob, which could be cast by any druid in my party/raid).

It is possible to modify the lenght and the thickness of the bars in a group by dragging the bottom right corner and change the colour of each bar by clicking on the colored square in the menu.

Once all the configuration is done you need to lock the addon for it to start working.

Here is my set up in combat:

I really like NTK for the easy configuration, customization and flexibility and as an added bonus for the small memory footprint (75k on my machine).
Also, it is not specifically coded with one class in mind so everybody could use it.

NugEnergy: is simply a movable bar showing my energy. The interesting thing is that I can put markers in the bar at different values to make it easier to see when I have enough energy for a certain ability.

NeedToKnow: I think I have tried all the timers add-ons and I finally settled on this to track my abilities (Slice and Dice, Rupture and Hunger for Blood). Very easy to configure: right click on a bar, choose between a few options and you are ready to go.

EasyPoisons: automatic Poisons buyer. Needs to be setup once at the beginning with the quantity for each poison and from then onwards every time you visit a poison vendor it automatically restock them.

evlReminders: Rule-based automated reminders for commonly forgotten tasks. It basically puts my normal weapons icons in the middle of my screen when I have 5 minutes left on my poisons, and it shades them red when my poisons have expired.

Stunwatch: It is buggy and not working as it should 100% of the times but it still is the best addon I could find to track rogues stuns across multiple targets without being too bloated (NECB, I’m looking in your direction).

I’m finally getting round to add a proper blogroll, starting with fellow rogues. If I have missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll add the site.

I am still around, mainly reading other blogs and trying to decide what to do with my rogue because a couple of weeks ago I left my guild, and now I find myself re-evaluating my goals in WoW.

Some kind of explanation (wall of text crits you for over 9000)
Mainly as an exercise in reinforcing the fact that I have done the right thing (because there are times when I log and I sit there staring at the screen with no raids planned, no green text in my chat and I feel a bit lost).

The guild had already undergone a reduction in numbers just before Christmas, where our raid leader, two officer and few others left due to a mix of personal reason and conflict with the remaining officers all in the space of a few days, and we kept losing one player here, one player there over the course of the following weeks.
This situation, compounded by non-existent recruitment, set the guild raiding plans back since we were unable to consistently field two 10-men raids, never mind a decent 25 men.

Things started to pick up again with new people joining, a few rerolling, and by the beginning of March we cleared all the heroic content plus Sarth+1D, and we were working on getting the Twilight Duo achievement.

First issue:  being a relatively new guild, we had a poll on raiders availability and the officers picked the raiding days with the most people available, trying to make sure most of us was able to sign up for at least two raids out of three (the guild doesn’t have any minimum attendance required) with fixed days for set instances. Once we cleared content and started working on Sarth 2D, the “Dragons night” was moved from its usual day to another one because the officer who usually posts the raid cannot attend the original chosen night (and he really needs to be present!), even if that was the day for the two 10 men run because fewer people were usually available.

Second issue (and how could this one be missing!): It all started at our first Sapphiron kill in 25 men, when the Raid leader and officers said they would like to overrule our set way of loot distribution for the quest item for the Malygos key on that kill and the subsequent one. At the end of the day i thought it made sense to give the first couple to people (read: raid leaders) who are more or less always available; at least we know we can attempt Maly regularly. The problem was that for the next five kills, the quest item was assigned by the loot master to specific raiders without any explanation.

At the same time I have seen riders pressurised (bullied is too strong a word) in passing on substantial upgrades to benefit…… oh, the same people again.

Three weeks ago on our calendar appeared a new note: on the night of our ten men runs, one of the two teams will be the one attempting the undying achievement and who’s going? …. oh, the same people again.

I have to deal with enough conflict at work where I have to make things work no matter what, so I took the easy way out.  Without noise or fits or accusations I said goodbye  and left.

Gwaendar has a post on the news that WOTLK content has been cleared after only two days by the new merged SK/Nihilum. I couldn’t have expressed it better myself so go and read it.

In other news, I know I have been bad and not blogged for a while but I’ve been very busy with work, trying to reach my 50K words for NaNoWriMo, clearing up a few things before the expansion and now levelling. Once things calm down a bit I will start updating the blog again.

As everybody will have noticed already, we are left with barely two months to prepare for the expansion and try to complete at least a few things left over in Burning Crusade.

I have a vague plan of what I want and need to do before the expansion hits, here is my list split under two different headers: House-cleaning and Achievements

House Cleaning

  • I have 107 Badges sitting in the bank, and unless I manage to get the Fang of Vashj or Boundless Agony in the next two months I’m going to spend them on the badge daggers. When the 3.0 patch will be live, I will definitely respec to Mutilate and I want to have the best main hand I can possibly get. At the moment it looks like a fast main hand is preferrable but things might change as they tweak talents and abilities. As off hand I have the Tracker Blade which should be the best off hand before BT and SW. If I were so lucky to get either of the two drops I will spend some of the badges on gems and try to sell them.
  • I need to decide whether to put my primals on the AH or keep them and wait for the plethora of Dark Knights levelling their professions; probably everybody will be in Northrend exploring new content and very few will still be in Outlands and possibly even fewer farming primals.
  • I still need 10 stacks of Netherweave so that I can get all the possible points from Netherweave bandages before I start with the new cloth.
  • Same with Furious Crawdads and the other two Highland school fish and cooking, except that I have a head start with the cloth while I start from scratch with them.
  • Collect enough low level herbs so that I can quickly level Inscriptions on my Death Knight. This is getting quite easy since I’m levelling a Tauren warrior and he is only 30, so plenty of low level herbs, and the DK should get the rest while she levels. (btw, I already reserved the name)
  • I’d like to be able to start life in Northrend with 10K gold but not sure if I’ll be able to achive this; I’m not that far away but between all the other things I want to do, paying for consumables and repairs, I’m not sure I can bring myself to grind dailies enough to get there.


  • When I started raiding, I set myself the objective of seeing Vashj and Kael lying on the floor at my feet. I have now seen Vashj dead so I’m halfway there and one of the guild priorities is Kael, so should be ok with that.
  • I have pretty much resigned myself at not hitting exalted with the Defilers before Christmas, but I’d like to be able to collect enough rep to become revered before the expansion. I’m less than 3k away so it could be feasable.
  • In terms of rep, I still need to get to exalted with two Horde faction, Darkspear Trolls and Thunder Bluff. For the trolls is going to be relatively easy, I’m 5k away and I have some Runecloth in the bank I can turn in, it won’t be enough but it will help; it will definitely be more difficult with Thunder Bluff but I’ll see how much time I can spend on it.
  • We are making progress in BT and I would like to just see as many bosses as I can there and give Archimonde a try or two but that will depend on Raid Management and what they decide to do.

I will update my list as I get closer to the expansion date maybe adding a few things and scrapping others because I will not be able to achie them and hopefully with what I have managed to do as well; so what are your things to do before the expansion hits?

Matt started it with this post, asking for 12 Reasons why your class is the best lover. Here is the evidence that Rogues are the best:

  1. We don’t just fall asleep straight after (Quick Recovery)
  2. We have staying power (Vigor and Endurance)
  3. We can find the “right spot” for any partner (Find Weakness)
  4. We are very good with our hands (Dual Wield Spec and Sleight of Hands)
  5. We know all the Dirty Tricks
  6. We are aware that Preparation and Setup are fundamental
  7. We have an uncanny predisposition to undress our partner (Expose Armor)
  8. Have some kind of “problem” in the bedroom? No worries, we can provide solutions with our knowledge of poisons and herbs
  9. We are ready at every Opportunity
  10. We have an instant protection against deseases (Cloak of Shadow)
  11. We often take the Initiative
  12. And last in the list but certainly not in importance… Rogues do it from behind 😉

This is a first article of in what I hope to make a pemanent feature of the blog; from time to time I want to highlight addons that can make life easier to players. As my main is a rogue I will most probably concentrate on addons for the class but not necessarily all the time.

So, the first addon I’m going to talk about is Hemlock.

I really can’t remember how many times I got wrong the quantities of one reagent or another or oicked the wrong vial when I had to do the buying manually. Since I started using Hemlock restocking poisons has become as painless as two mouse clicks.

Once you have installed the addon by placing the extracted folder in the correct path (WOW\Interface\AddOns) you will not see anything different in your UI until you’ll visit the poison vendor for the first time.

As you can see from the screenshot Hemlock adds small tabs to the right of the vendor window, one for each type of poison plus one for Flash Powder. Every tab has two numbers, the top one is the amount of that poson you currently have in your inventory, while the bottom number is the amount you want to have when you restock. The first time you visit the vendor this number will be 0, and you can change it by right clicking on the tab and moving the slider as in picture two.

I usually carry a stack of each poison, that’s why the bottom number of each tab is 20.
With a first click on the correspondig tab, Hemlock buys autimatically enough reagents to align the top number to the bottom one. With a second click on the same tab, it start creating the poison.

With regards to flash powder, this is even easier because Hemlock automatically buys enough of it when you open the vendor window.

Another good thing is that the addon keeps track of reagents you already have in your inventory and doesn’t start from scratch for every poison so you will not find yourself with more than 4 spare vials (this happens because you can only buy vials as multiples of 5) or if you have reagents from lockboxes Hemlock uses those before buying new ones.

In Wrath this addon will be redundant since it looks like we will be able to buy the poisons straight for the vendors but in the meantime, I couldn’t really do without it.

Valenna at Parry! Dodge! Spin! posted some new info about rogues coming out of the beta; at first I started to write a comment but then decided to just write a post on it.

Right, first a change: Mace Specialization (Combat) no longer stuns enemies, and instead increases critical damage bonus by 2/4/6/8/10%.

I can see this replacing the Fist and Sword spec in raiding, which is already quite good with a 5% crit to fist. This new change is going to double that and who in his right mind is going to say no? So if they release the talents before the expansion, I will definitely spec Mace and Sword. ( Good thing that in BT there is a nice one that drops from Supremus: Syphon of the Nathrezim)

The second part of the news is the new inscriptions. I’m not going to report them here, go and read Valenna’s post if you haven’t seen them yet.

Looks like Valenna is not excited about them but I have to admit I find a few PvE ones quite tasty and here is why:

  • Glyph – Shiv: this will probably make Shiv a good opener for mutilate Rogues with a fast OH. For example, with a 1.5 speed, shiv will cost 30 energy; this will allow the rogue to start an early 1 point S&D with almost full energy, and being able to mutilate twice a poisoned mob under find weakness right from the start.
  • Glyph – Slice and Dice: this is equal to the T4 two pieces bonus. Seeing as a lot of rogues don’t break this bonus until they have 4 pieces T5, I believe it makes this glyph one of the first ones every raiding rogue will want. In reality, because 99% of the raiding rogues have S&D talented, it is an actual increase of almost 4.5 seconds
  • Glyph – Expose Armor: EA duration increased by 10 secs, not overwhelming but it makes it easier to maintain EA on a boss even in movement fights especially combined with the S&D glyph.
  • Glyph – Evasion: this is purely personal, but I like the glyph since I already Evasion-tanked the last 1% of both Najentus and Kaz’rogal.

I’m not sure if the Glyph – Hemorrhage will help bringing back the Hemo tri-spec that was viable before the Hemo nerf and it’s a shame that Glyph – Adrenaline Rush will still not allow the use of AR twice in a boss fight.

As for the more PvP oriented glyph, I doubt they are going to affect rogues in a significant manner but i’m not a PvP hardcore so what do I know? 🙂