Archive | March, 2011

Inquisition Uptime and You: The Floor is Lava!

If you never played “The Floor is Lava” as a kid, you need to stop what you’re doing and play an ad hoc version in your office or place of residence right this second.

Once someone yells “THE FLOOR IS LAVA!”, you immediately have to get to safety by climbing onto a piece of furniture. As illustrated in the picture above, the chair, sofa, table, loveseat, and footrest (there’s a fancy name for it, but I have no idea what it may be) are all safe from fiery harm.

The rug, however, is not. Think about it; if the floor were actually lava, how sturdy would a rug be to stand on? How much could you trust a rug to keep you out of the gooey liquid rock? On the other hand, something like a sofa or a chair would be much better choices. The table is labeled “badasses only” because it would be a very unstable and dangerous platform to linger on.

What does any of this have to do with Inquisition, you ask?

Keepin’ It Up

Inquisiton is a very important buff; as of this moment (patch 4.0.6), it buffs the following:

Aside from Consecration (who uses this anymore?), this covers almost every important attack we have. Sure, Judgement isn’t in there but Judgement is near the end of our priority list anyway.

In short: keeping Inquisition up is of the utmost importance.

Imagine the times when Inquisition falls off as the moment someone shouts, “The floor is lava!” Suddenly, your bloodstream is flooded with adrenaline as you look beneath you to see a flow of molten rock and smoke rising from your boots. Your first instinct is to jump, but you need to look around yourself to find a safe, lava-free zone that can hold your weight and won’t succumb to the flames itself.

It’s the same with Inquisition. When it falls off, your first instinct is to slam your Inquisition keybind (so help me if you say “I click mine”…), but you have to ask yourself a couple questions first.

How much Holy Power do I have / What’s the cooldown on Crusader Strike?

Did you just cast TV and have no HP? Looks like you’re going to have to hit CS first, then Inquisition, and then devote the next 10 seconds to getting three more HP to get a full duration Inquisition rolling.

What if you just hit CS and then TV, so you have no HP and your CS is on cooldown? Well partner, it looks like you’re SOL until CS comes back up. Lucky for you Blizzard insists on throwing Haste on everything, eh?

Do you have four-piece tier 11?

This is another very important question that can completely change the way you refresh this almighty buff.

Yes!

If you indeed have an active four-piece bonus, refreshing with only 1 HP will give you 20 seconds of Inquisition bliss. As a result, your new tier bonus entitles you to be relatively lazy in terms of refreshing Inquisition.

Simply put, refresh your Inquisition with whatever Holy Power you have on hand when there’s two (2) seconds or less remaining on the buff.

No :(

If you aren’t blessed with a full set of rocky garb, you’ll just have to suffer with the rest of the four-pieceless proletariat and plan out your HP generation and usage like a big boy or girl.

Mind Those Gaps!

One last bit of advice: if your guild uses World of Logs, use it to analyze your Inquisition habits post-raid. Check this out:

From the dashboard, select the fight you want to look at, select your character from the ‘Damage Done’ screen, click on the ‘Buffs gained’ tab, then find Inquisition in the list and click on the pound (#) sign. This will place it on a graph with your damage done and raid DPS. To see the duration information overlaid like I have above, simply check the box.

Personally, I try to shoot for a 90% uptime or higher on ‘stand and burn’ encounters. A lot of fights contain mechanics that prevent a high uptime on Inquisition (Atramedes’ air phase, jumping on Magmaw’s head, running around getting buffs on Ascendant Council, etc.). The key to interpreting the data correctly is knowing the context and being able to explain lengthy gaps.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make my way across my lab without being enveloped in flames and without getting weird looks from my boss. This is gonna be tricky!

Patch 4.1 Ret Gear: Treasure Troll-ves

Even though Firelands isn’t being released in the upcoming 4.1 patch, we are still seeing plenty of gear coming our way through the revamped Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman heroic dungeons. This gear is a great option for those of us that are either unable to raid or simply unlucky with drops.

Note that this gear is ilvl 353, which is supposed to be a tier between heroics and raids. Also note that, to enter these new heroics, you’ll need a higher average ilvl (346, from what I’m told) so work on those reps for the (relatively) free epics!

Reforged Trollbane
Jeklik’s Smasher
Hex Lord’s Bloody Cloak
Ring of the Numberless Brood
Chestplate of Hubris
Skullcrusher Warboots
Plunderer’s Gauntlets
Roaring Mask of Bethekk
Jungle Striders
Deathcharged Wristguards

A few thoughts on this new loot:

Good weapons are always hard to come by, especially ones with healthy amounts of Mastery and a gem slot. Also, tossing a Bold Inferno Ruby in there will give both of these weapons more Strength than current ilvl 359 weapons. However, just because you can squeeze more Strength out of it doesn’t mean it’s better; remember, weapon speed and weapon DPS are still undisputed kings of stats, and 359′s beat both of these new options hands-down.

It is debatable if the bracers are any better than Alpha Bracers from heroic Halls of Origination, what with the gem slot and the lack of Mastery.

Quite a few of these pieces have Haste on them, which as we all know is yucky (that is, probably until the next raiding tier, or whenever we get gear with high enough stat budgeting to where we can finally get to the haste soft cap). However, with reforging you can transform a lot of that Haste into something useful, so when in doubt, roll Need and see what you can do with it!

The Beat Goes On

So these last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic.

First, Rhidach, our beloved GM and raid leader, decided to step down to blend into the furniture of the rest of the raiding corps, splitting his former duties between two of the officers: Zilga, a holy/disc priest, became the raid leader, while Falowin, a rogue, became the new GM.

Second, I was promoted to officer to replace an officer that had left the guild a short while ago due to a difference in opinion on our standby policy. The rest of the officers needed someone to bounce ideas off of and help contribute to decision-making, both of which I’m more than willing to do!

Overall, it was a pretty smooth transition. A few days before Rhi’s announcement was made public, we downed Cho’gall for the first time. However, we were still having trouble with one-shotting Ascendant Council, as many people forgot how much Chain Lighting hurts (hint: a lot). Nonetheless, a victory against Cho’gall meant a great deal to guild morale, and really helped buffer the change in leadership.

Meanwhile, yesterday was the first day in our raid week, and it marked the first day of Zilga’s occupation as raid leader. Not only did we put a couple of attempts on heroic Halfus (progression!), but we one-shot Ascendant Council and two-shot Cho’gall! As a simple raid member, I normally would’ve been very happy and pleased with our performance in the Bastion of Twilight, but as a newly-appointed officer, I can’t help but see the connection between my place of power and our ease in killing bad guys (kidding).

In other news, I picked up my shoulder token the first time we downed Cho’gall, giving me 4pT11 and access to our quirky but still welcome four-piece bonus. It makes refreshing Inquisition go from predicting the weather three months in advance to remembering to feed your fish before you go on vacation.